Farm butterflies
blossomed in sunshine

Farmland butterflies flourished last year in the sunshine, says the charity Butterfly Conservation.

The Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS) found typical farm species such as the Common Blue, Small Copper, Small Skipper, Large Skipper and Small Tortoiseshell all bounced back in 2013 after experiencing a crash in numbers during 2012.

Locally the charity’s East Scotland organiser Barry Prater said: “The fine, sunny weather last summer enabled our butterflies to have a good flight season and this meant that they were much more evident than in the previous recent dreary summers we’ve endured.”

Recorders visited 32 separate one kilometre squares twice during the survey period of July to August.

And Mr Prater said: “During this core period more than 2,000 butterflies of 17 species were recorded. The most abundant was the Ringlet (928 individuals counted, 43 per cent of butterflies seen during the core period) and the most widespread butterfly was Green-veined White which occupied 87.5 per cent of squares.

“Coming closer to home, both the Ringlet and the Green-veined White were very noticeable last year and one of our specialities, the aptly-named Scotch Argus, was found in good numbers at some sites away from the survey squares – 100 were counted on a visit to the Linghope Burn by Megget Reservoir in August.”

The annual survey counts butterflies in about 850 squares across Britain to assess butterfly populations.