Halifax Scientific Society Big Butterfly Count at Cromwell Bottom, 14.07.18

Walk led by Steve Blacksmith. These records submitted by Brian Cain. Typed from Brian’s notes by Annie Honjo. Andrew Cockroft is  now our Lepidoptera Recorder, but was unable to attend (Andrew joined us after the programme was set.) Brian is also a recorder, and our former lead recorder for many years.

10.55

Tag Loop 

From riverside footpath and through entry gate:

  • Small White, (f)
  • Gatekeeper (m)
  • Large Skipper (f)
  • Green-veined White (f) 

11.05

Reserve area:

  • Small Copper
  • Gatekeeper
  • Meadow Brown
  • Large White (f)
  • Small White (f) Meadow Brown
  • Possible Common Blue (f?) not close enough to ID
11.15
  • Ringlet
  • Small White
  • Gatekeeper x 3
  • Gatekeeper (f)
  • Small Copper (m)
  • Meadow Brown x 2
  • Small Whites x 3
  • Small Skipper, netted and examined in pill box; dark undersides to antennae = Essex Skipper
11.37
  • July Belle moth (Geometridae)
11.47
  • Small Skipper
  • Brown Hawker (Aeschna grandis)
11.55
  • Cinnabar larvae
12.02
Leaving the mound:
  • Ringlet
  • Meadow Brown
12.07
Woodland path:
  • Green-veined White
12.12
Back to gate:
  • Green-veined White (m)
  • Large Nymphalid flying past riverside trees, orangey-coloured 

North Loop 

Café: NB On former Common Blue site (built over!). Also Common Blue meadow towards canal completely mowed off!
12.18
  • Holly Blue
Lunch & drinks, approx ½ hour. Several ‘Whites’ passing, also Brown Hawker
12.53
  • Purple Hairstreak flying low overhead
Very good area of flowering brambles opposite café area. Numbers of Ringlets, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and Small Whites feeding on them. Also Green-veined White (m), Brown Hawker
1.06
  • Comma (Hutchinsoni)
  • Large White
1.12
  • Meadow Brown
  • Brown Hawker
  • Small Skippers x 3
1.18
  • Meadow Brown x 2
  • Small White (m)
1.21
  • Ringlet
  • Meadow Brown
1.29
  • Large White
  • Small White
1.31
  • Whites x 6+ (probably Small Whites)
  • Stand of Trefoil – Meadow Brown, Small White
1.35
  • 3 Cormorants in river
  • 2 x Meadow Browns
  • 2x Small Skippers
1.45 
Cormorants have moved downstream, flock of Canada geese now on river
2.00
  • 2 x Six-spot Burnet moths (one f)
2.05
  • Six-spot Burnet (f)
2.12
  • Six-spot Burnet (f), also one caught in spider’s web. Also bird kill, probably by a Sparrowhawk.
2.15
  • Small Copper
  • Meadow Brown
2.19
  • Brown Hawker
  • Meadow Brown (m)
2.21
  • Small Copper on trefoil
  • 6 x Small Whites
  • 2 x Meadow Browns
2.30
  • Green-veined White
2.31 – back at the café, completed walk.
NB: the highest numbers of butterflies in one area, feeding on the bramble flowers, probably about 30+: Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Small White, Green-veined White.
Total number of butterfly species recorded: 13
NB Essex Skipper is my first record for our area.