Manor Woods Valley Butterfly Survey 2019

This report prepared has been prepared by Peter Loy-Hancocks from the Manor Woods Valley Group

1)  Introduction and Methodology

Environmental science student and Manor Woods Valley Group member, Rachael Harvey, undertook three butterfly surveys in Manor Woods Valley Local Nature Reserve during the summer of 2019. In order to facilitate comparisons between surveys within the year, and in future years, the surveyor established and followed seven transects within the site (see figure 1).

Due to increasingly dense ruderal vegetation, it was not possible to survey transect 4 effectively.

Map of 2019 Butterfly Survey in Manor Woods Valley
Figure 1: Butterfly survey transects within Manor Woods Valley

 

The numbers of each butterfly species within transects were noted on to a field recording forms. These records form the basis of this report. All records were submitted to Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre (BRERC).

Additional records were obtained through casual observations made by the surveyor and others at different times throughout the year.

2)  Results

The first survey was conducted in the late morning of 27 June, on a sunny but breezy day. A total of 99 butterflies of eight species were recorded. The counts are summarised in table 1.

Species Transect Total
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7  
Common Blue     1 1       2
Large White     1   3     4
Marbled White     6   3     9
Meadow Brown 3 1 57 4 3 1 1 70
Red Admiral 1       1     2
Ringlet 2   2 1 3     8
Large Skipper         1   1 2
Small Tortoiseshell       2       2
  6 1 67 8 14 1 2 99

The second survey was conducted in mid-morning on 6 July, when there was 20% cloud cover. On this occasion 189 butterflies of nine species were recorded. These counts are summarised in table 2.

Species Transect Total
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7  
Common Blue     5         5
Large White   1       3   4
Marbled White     18 3 6     27
Meadow Brown 9 4 61 1 5 7 2 89
Painted Lady         1     1
Ringlet 5 4 16 1 5 4 5 40
Large Skipper 2 1 2   4   2 11
Small/Essex Skipper     2 1 8     11
Speckled Wood             1 1
  16 10 104 6 29 14 10 189

The third survey was conducted early on the 25 July, which was a hot day with 40% cloud cover. 155 butterflies of fifteen species were recorded. These counts are summarised in table 3.

Species Transect Total
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7  
Brown Argus     5         5
Comma   1     1     2
Common Blue 1   13 3 1     18
Gatekeeper 3 1 1 6 5 3 6 25
Green-veined White 3           1 4
Large White 4 1 1     4 1 11
Marbled White     2 2       4
Meadow Brown 1   22 1 1 3 2 30
Peacock 1       1 2 1 5
Red Admiral 1         1   2
Ringlet 1   2   2 1   6
Large Skipper 1   6   1     8
Small/Essex Skipper 1   13 2       16
Small White 3 2   1   5 4 15
Speckled Wood   3       1   4
  20 8 65 15 12 20 15 155

The total number of butterflies recorded in each transect are summarised in table 4.

  Transect Total
No. Butterflies 1 2 3 4 5 6 7  
27-Jun 6 1 67 8 14 1 2 99
06-Jul 16 10 104 6 29 14 10 189
25-Jul 20 8 65 15 12 20 15 155
Total 42 19 236 29 55 35 27 443

Casual records included observations of two Brimstones made on 15 February.

Including the two Brimstones, a total of 445 butterflies of eighteen species were recorded during 2019. These were Brimstone, Brown Argus, Comma, Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Green-veined White, Large Skipper, Large White, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady, Peacock, Red Admiral, Ringlet, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White, Small/Essex Skipper and Speckled Wood.

3)  Discussion

It is difficult to draw many conclusions from monitoring butterflies within Manor Woods Valley for a single year; however, what does appear to be clear is the importance of the Wildflower Meadow (transect 3), especially to Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites and Ringlets.

Download this report as a PDF file.

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