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Talkback: Big Butterfly Count

We're seeing less butterflies in our garden too, whereas we used to have loads. Yesterday I saw a holly blue, a second generation one. One of the things they feed on, apparently, is honeydew, the stuff that comes out of aphids's bottoms. It's great that nothing gets wasted in nature, isn't it!


  • I saw more butterflies in the Botanic garden today but only cabbage whites, none of the lovely painted ladies we usually have hordes of. There were more butterflies than usual in my garden in the early, warm, sunny spring but a dearth of anything but whites, hedge browns and tiger moths at present. It is very important as you say, Kate, to realise we too are part of the natural world and will suffer by having less food if the pollinators are not around.
  • I saw a Red Admiral in my little London garden today! Happy. Will look forward to the identification guide.
  • I saw a hummingbird hawk moth on a patch of white verbena at Nunnington Hall, Yorkshire, last Thursday, 7th July. I first saw one about three years ago in Rothbury, Northumberland and wonder if they are now found even further north?
  • I'm happy to say that in my garden, outside Oslo in Norway, I seem to have many more butterflies this year than previous ones! And that's NOT thanks to my gardening skills ... :-)
  • I have been involved in outdoor activities/work, for morethan 30 years and as a result can honestly say butterfly numbers are much lower now!

    The many Buddlea that I grow in various areas, usually attract the odd butterfly now, compared to the previous droves attracted.

    I, among many, miss their happy summer dance xx
  • Andrew, I have noticed this too with my buddleias. In the nineties I could give my white buddleia bush a shake and amaze the children going past my garden to school with the hordes of butterflies that would fly up. Now there is just the odd one or two.
    The garden with the most butterflies and bees I have seen in recent years was Cothay Manor Garden last August. The borders were awash with them - the icing on the cake in such a beautiful garden. I noticed there was a lot of lythrum planted so I bought a plant from there and hope it will do the same for my garden this August. It does have lovely spikes of flowers about to open their buds.
  • My husband took a photograph of an eyed hawkmoth about a month ago. Is this of interest?
  • I'm pleased to notice that the roundabout near my house has been planted with lots of wild flowers, which is a good attraction for butterflies and bees. As well as being beautiful to look at, in these days of the credit crunch surely it would be more cost effective if more councils were encouraged to do this.
  • I've actually spotted quite a few butterflies in my garden this year, including lots of red admirals that seem to love a cactus dahlia I'm growing!
  • I'm lucky enough to be living in a much more rural location than last summer and so each month brings it's delights as I see July here for the first time.

    Marbled whites and ringlets have been recent highlights and I also got very hands-on with cinnabar caterpillars when I moved about five hundred off a patch of groundsel that was about to be cleared. I really enjoyed relocating these to the ragwort as I walked the dog and they've really munched the flowers..
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