"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Friday, 15 July 2011

The USA Bee Count and the UK Butterfly Count

Tomorrow the 16th of July in the UK and the USA our pollinators are getting some close and welcome attention. It’s the second year for the Butterfly count in the UK and the first for the bee count in the USA.

If you are interested in joining in go here to the UK Butterfly Count:

http://www.bigbutterflycount.org/

"Why count butterflies?

Butterflies react very quickly to change in their environment which makes them excellent biodiversity indicators. Butterfly declines are an early warning for other wildlife losses.

That’s why counting butterflies can be described as taking the pulse of nature."

and for those in the USA the bee count is here 

http://www.yourgardenshow.com/bee-a-thon

“The count is a citizen science campaign to map out bee populations in every zip code in the United States, because in-depth, collaborative knowledge of bee populations could help mitigate the havoc wrought by CCD. You can check out the count in your neighborhood below, and “attend” the Bee-a-thon to learn more about getting involved.

Meanwhile today I have had a day in the sun, mooching about at Paxton Pits and saw a few butterflies, some bees but not so many as last time as the brambles are almost done. There was some excitement about a sighting of the Norfolk hawker dragonfly which I didn’t see but I did bump into Andy Fountain who works with the charity Inspire. More of them and their work later but while chatting to him he pointed out this pretty thing.

It’s not a butterfly but a day flying moth. It’s very small and I think it’s a Mint Moth… again, I think, Pyrausta aurata. The excellent Adur Nature has a good page on  pyralid moths This one it seems, loosely translated, means  “gilded fire winged”. Perfect!

and while I am on the moth theme there were lots of these!

cinn moth cat

Some Cinnabar moth caterpillars Tyria jacobaeae making short work of the ragwort. they will of course become the beautiful cinnabar moths.

Cinnabar070798

(Photo © Ian Kimber  ) from the UK Moths website here.

I will be counting my butterflies and bees tomorrow and until the end of the month.

2 comments:

rcponders said...

Thank you for the post / links to the bee-a-thon today. They have been showcasing some interesting speakers; it is heartwarming to see people finally getting invoved.
Would like to see a butterfly count here in the U.S. as well, and more efforts made to save the bats--they are having a tough time as well with strange diseases and dropping populations.

sharp green pencil said...

You are very welcome ! I have yet to catch up with your results. Sadly that day here was wet and cold in the morning and I had to go out in the afternoon.. so no chance to get out and look!
Bats are wonderful they are a very close second to bees with me! I know they are having a hard time. Maybe a at drawing or two would not go amiss!