Acting locally to protect green spaces for wildlife and people…

We are a small charity operating in the counties of Flintshire, Wrexham, Denbighshire and Conwy. Our business involves land management, providing training courses, running public events, working with schools and colleges to provide educational activities and running a volunteer programme. These activities are dependant on funding. Learn more about us

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NEWW News

Butterfly news

Surveying has now finished at Rhydymwyn for our butterflies, and it was a great year! Brian & Sue Roberts are volunteer surveyors from Butterfly Conservation, and master butterfly spotters:-

Rhydymwyn 2014
We took over recording on a full time basis at this site in week 18(Late July) of the 2011 season and continued in 2012, 2013 and now 2014.
The weather at the beginning of the butterfly season at Rhydymwyn in 2013 was not bad and a -3 week survey was a first for us.
In 2014 we recorded 25 species including 2 new species to the site late in the season.

There were so many highlights in 2014 with massive increases in ringlets, dingy skippers, meadow browns and gatekeepers. Compared with 2013 at this site the figures in 2014 for the average number of butterflies seen each visit showed a decrease over 2013 of 5.90%, this was due to more walks being undertaken in the year particularly when there were not many butterflies about. The increase in the total number of butterflies seen in 2014 as compared with 2013 was 8.96%

What is quite special is that following the really good year last year, taking the maximum number of each species seen in 2014 and comparing it with 2013, there has been an increase of over 23% – quite amazing.

The weather in 2014 started quite well and a very early survey started the year off well. The weather came good and then towards the end of the summer it became unsettles. However 2014 turned out to be a truly memorable year for the butterflies of this site with 12 Site Records and 2 new species being Grayling and Clouded Yellow of which two were seen.

The Whites this year were well down but increases by the species mentioned above more than counter-acted this drop and a record number of butterflies were recorded in 2014 as mentioned above.

12 Species created new Site Record Levels.
2 Species were new to the Site
3 Species were equal to the Site Record
8 Species reduced in number
Several species had spectacular counts dingy skippers-155, small skippers 369, ringlets 719, meadow brown 536, gatekeepers 466,in one memorable walk we recorded 1247 butterflies, altogether 2014 was staggeringly good for butterflies
The following increased in numbers:-
small, large and dingy skippers, red admiral, comma, speckled wood, gatekeeper, meadow brown, small heath, brimstone, ringlet and wall brown.
The following species declined:- large, small and green-veined whites, common blue, peacock, small tortoiseshell, orange tip and painted lady.
The following species attained the same number as last year: – small copper, purple hairstreak and holly blue.
The new species to the site were the long-awaited grayling and clouded yellow (of which a male and female were recorded)
We looked at quite a number of small skippers to try and find an Essex skipper, but we were not able to find one. The population of small skippers at Rhydymwyn in 2014 was 369 so it is not surprising that we were unable to find one.
The overall ranking of the year is 1 out of the 4 years of surveys at the site. A wonderful year of butterflies at Rhydymwyn, when 7042 butterflies were recorded.

Brian and Sue Roberts
September 2014

View our butterfly blogs here: http://newwildlife.wordpress.com/