Soggy summer delays Tortoiseshells

Some of our most colourful butterflies have emerged several weeks later than usual as a result of the soggy summer.

Common garden species such as Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells are finally putting in an appearance on the UK’s buddleia bushes after limited sightings all summer.

Early Big Butterfly Count results hinted at a worrying lack of these striking nymphalids but sightings have slowly picked up as the weather finally improved.

Visitors to the Big Butterfly Count website have reported a surge in Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell numbers over the last few weeks.

Sightings of Small Tortoiseshells are particularly welcome as Butterfly Conservation is concerned about this much-loved species which has suffered an alarming decline in recent years.

Hopes are high that the long Bank Holiday weekend may present a bumper butterfly flourish to mark the end of this year’s Count.

More than 20,000 Counts have been submitted so far despite the rotten weather. So, if you can, please spare 15-minutes over the next few days to record what you see on our sightings page.

You can take part in the Count wherever you are – in your local park, walking in the countryside or even in your back garden.

This year, Butterfly Conservation have teamed up with the National Trust who are encouraging butterfly-lovers to take part in the Count by visiting the best National Trust butterfly spots.

And remember, you can complete as many counts as you like. Grab your downloadable butterfly ID Chart
You don’t even need to leave your house to get involved. Butterfly Conservation vice-presidents Nick Baker and Mike Dilger have tweeted their Big Butterfly Count wishes to our Twitter page