Butterfly Conservation are holding an organised Painted Lady count this Saturday when they’re asking people to count passing butterflies for two hours and post their sightings online. It’s an exciting aspect of the internet that it allows this kind of rapidly organised exercise in citizen science.
Anyway, I thought I’d do a little preliminary count of my own at lunchtime and just counted PLs in the half hour between 12.30 and 1.00. The result: 36. Slightly over one a minute.
What’s interesting is that on the one hand, that’s a staggering number, when you extrapolate out over the whole country: butterflies going past at the rate of one a minute for days at a time over the whole of England (the whole of Northern Europe, possibly). And yet if you weren’t paying attention, it would be possible to be out in the garden and not even notice that this huge natural phenomenon was going on.