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Talkback: Big Butterfly Count

beryl.I saw my first butterfly in my garden yesturday. it few under the garden table and I didnt see it again to know what kind it was, not even the colour. so, after growing some stinging nettles, budlia, two kinds,two blue and one yellow,( the blue is beautiful this year) , i did as I was told and cut them back last year,it certainly has paid back, they are lovely. But so far only ONE butterfly, I hope they return for the stinging nettles??. I think they will, when the sun shines hot for a few weeks.


  • I have a garden packed to the rafters of nectar rich flowers and sadly no sight of butterflies but thankfully, more bees this year and happily nesting Mason Bees!
  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    I took these photos in my garden yesterday afternoon....

    Gary Hobson wrote (see)

    Common Blue...

    Meadow Brown(?)...

    There were plenty of each of those butterflies about. I'm in Warwickshire, and we've had appauling weather for the past 3 months. So the idea that butterflies have been wiped out by bad weather isn't necessaily true. I haven't seen any Peacocks, Red Admirals or Commas recently. Although I normally associate them with the time when the buddlea is in flower, and it's not out yet.

  • diggingdorisdiggingdoris Posts: 513

    We've had so much wind and rain that I don't think the butterflies can fly around. I have 3 different buddleias and 2 types of scabious specially grown for the butterflies, but I've only seen 2 cabbage-whites and a brown unknown one, so far this year. Maybe if this weather warms up we will be luckier. Fingers crossed.

  • kaycurtiskaycurtis Posts: 111
    I provide for butterflies but still in decline, I have only seen 1 cabbage white, 1 Red Admiral and 1 Peacock, I will go out on a sunny day and check again.
  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    I saw quite a few during the warmer weather we had around Easter but few, if any since. I've seen more bee's than butterflies lets, hope they come back with the predicted warmer weather.

    Only seen two cabbage white and they didn't stay long enough to lay eggs.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Nettles are a caterpillar food.  Buddlias are solely a nectar provider.   

  • oldchippyoldchippy Posts: 244

    This has been bad for butterflies in Ewell even in the park where there are lots of nettles and buddlia I have only seen a couple of Meadow Brown,We did have a Comma a couple weeks ago but not much else.


  • Thanks for all your comments, and thanks for posting such lovely photos, Gary! The last photo is of a ringlet butterfly, which apparently does quite well in wet summers, due to its caterpillars' food plant - grass. Don't forget to log your sitings at



  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    Thank you for the correct identification.

    I've also seen both a Red Admiral and Comma, today, though was unable to get snaps.

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892
    Gary Hobson wrote (see)

    I've also seen both a Red Admiral and Comma, though was unable to get snaps.

    Well, the comma and Red Admiral have returned, and this time were sufficiently obliging to let me take snaps.

    First, a Gatekeeper (I think) on Wild Marjoram...

    The Comma on a Cranesbill leaf...

    Five weeks ago, in the BBC program about RHS Hampton Palace Court, a butterfly expert was giving advice for gardeners. He recommended placing pots of nettles in the middle of flower beds. The following day I planted up two pots. I posted a photo and details on this thread...

    This afternoon, the Red Admiral returned to my garden. It flew around for a bit, which was difficult to photogaph. And then settled ON THE POT OF NETTLES!!!...

    It didn't settle on any flowers, just the nettles. I've often heard that butterflies need nettles, but never seen such dramatic evidence. Nor did I expect such rapid results.

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