I recorded 12 species on my Royal Canal transect as part of the Irish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme – I didn’t see a Wood White or a Small Copper this year. Numbers increased again from 455 to 612. The most numerous species was the Ringlet at 134 (up from 58) and there was an even larger explosion of Speckled Woods (from 24 to 104). This can be seen in the weekly counts plot with Ringlets and Meadow Browns contributing mainly to the mid-summer peak and Speckled Woods to the late September peak. This is very different from my garden profile which is strongly influenced by Small Tortoiseshells and Red Admirals – the latter in particular feature very little on this transect even though it is only a 10 minute walk away.
When I started playing around with the Venn diagram below a few years ago it was quite different to what it looks like now. There has been a gradual convergence of the species I see on the transect and in my garden especially since the Common Blue and Small Copper turned up in my garden this year – this is the now crowded middle section of the diagram. I’ve never seen a Painted Lady on the transect somewhat surprisingly and I’ve never seen a Wood White in my garden.