Your Summer of Wildlife

Key Points

  • After looking at our city wildlife during Urban Jungle, we are now focusing on the state of UK nature.
  • As part of the BBC's Summer of Wildlife Season, Britain's Big Wildlife Revival broadcasts on BBC One on Sundays at 1735 BST.
  • Share your wildlife stories with BBC Nature on Twitter, Facebook and on our #seeitsnapitshareit Summer of Wildlife Flickr group.

Join the discussion

    1749: Wood sandpipers - Tweet of the Day
    1550: Beautiful butterflies
    Weekend of Nature

    Two great programmes to watch out for this weekend. Catch never-seen-before glimpses of our underground mammals in The Burrowers on Friday at 9pm on BBC Two. And learn how to help our rarest species with the Britain's Big Wildlife Revival on Sunday at 5.35pm on BBC One.

    0822: Biggest ever!

    Great news! A tweet from Butterfly Conservation confirms that this year's Butterfly Count was the biggest ever "A huge thank you to everyone who has taken part the Big #ButterflyCount and made it the biggest count ever! Thank you!"

    1653: Big Butterfly Count

    You've this weekend to complete your Big Butterfly Count! Get involved and help us find out more about our native moths and butterflies.

    1410: Great black-backed gull
    1000: Helping hawk moths

    Tony Chippendale emailed us to say: "If you plant "bog bean" you will get loads of elephant hawk moth larva feeding on it! I counted 17 of both green and brown variations in one day on mine in late August and September one year, and never failed to see any on it for 30 years!"

    Have you got any advice for encouraging wildlife into your garden or local green patch? If so, leave us a comment here or send us a tweet.

    1411: Beesquitoes
    1021: Tweet of the Day - Wood pigeon
    1707: Robin photo

    This cheeky shot now gracing our robin page was shared by Nick Stacey in our Summer of Wildlife Flickr group.

    1706: Nick Stacey's robin photo
    European robin on woodland floor
    1317: House sparrow

    Michaela Strachan presents the life story of a bird commonly found living alongside us in today's Tweet of the Day - it is the beautiful house sparrow.

    1502: Hedgehog stars

    Hedgehogs, one of our more commonly spotted urban mammals, have been voted Britain's national species in a @WildlifeMag poll... What's your fav UK species?

    0934: Bird dates

    Birds, it seems, need to socialise with the opposite sex when young. A study has found that male zebra finches that fail to socialise with females during adolescence are less successful at courtship later in life.

    1228: Urban Jungle

    After our festival of butterflies and moths we turn our attention to urban wildlife...

    This Thursday the BBC will be broadcasting Urban Jungle, an exploration of the wilder side of towns and cities across England.

    Tune into to BBC One at 1900BST in your region to see the wildlife living alongside you.

    Time to fly away

    That's all folks.

    Our live butterfly and moth coverage ends at 6pm today. A big thank you to Phil, Jo and Nick and the rest of our technical team, and of course to Nick Baker for his wonderful shows and insights. Many thanks to our experts from Butterfly Conservation, including Dr Martin Warren and Sue and Bob Smith.

    But most of all, thank you for joining us, and taking part in the Big Butterfly Count, which remains open until 11 August.

    Keep sharing all your Summer of Wildlife sightings and photographs with us on Facebook, Twitter and as part of our #seeitsnapitshareit Summer of Wildlife .

    1759: Last few minutes

    It's the last few minutes of our live event. Enjoy...

    1748: Meadow brown

    Before we go we wanted to leave you with an image of a Meadow brown, the butterfly most often sighted during last year's Big Butterfly Count.

    Meadow Brown (copyright: Deborah Rigden)

    This individual was snapped earlier this month on Clapham Hill, Kent by Deborah Rigden.

    Last year it was seen a remarkable 63,000 times.

    Which species will come out top this year...

    1730: Interloper

    We have something buzzing about our chrysalises....

    1648: Big butterfly breakthrough

    The number of Big Butterfly Counts has broken the 14,000 mark! Please keep them coming, and remember you can do the survey more than once if you wish.

    1629: Who's who

    Telling white butterflies apart is notoriously difficult, is it a large white, a small white or even a green-veined white? Luckily there are a lot of good identifying guides out there, for example from Butterfly Conservation, UK Butterflies and our very own how to identify common garden butterflies.

    1610: Never too young
    white butterfly

    This weekend we have been treated to some of the amazing photographs that you have shared with us. It is never too early to start snapping away and butterflies make perfect subjects. This white butterfly was captured by 12 year old Jacob Spinks and shared to our Summer of Wildlife Flickr group.

    Just look at the detail and colour. If you would like to improve your wildlife photography then we have some top tips to help you do so.

    1548: Did you know?

    Some butterflies are capable of flying further than perhaps any other insect. Some individual monarch butterflies may cover 4000km or more migrating between southern Canada and Mexico.

    1532: Flowers

    Which flowers have you spotted butterflies near?

    1531: Rampions!

    Round headed rampions, yellowworts and clustered bellflowers spotted by the Plantlife team on Pewsey Downs, who did their own Big Butterfly Count this weekend.

    1528: Switch over

    A warm welcome to viewers who are joining us online from Red Button, and big thank you to the Red Button team for their help and support putting on a remarkable live event. We'll be here on the website covering all things moths and butterfly until 6pm.

    1518: Rain rain go away

    Too much rain isn't good for our flying friends. Last year, BBC News reported that too much wet weather could lead to local extinctions of rare or isolated species, including butterflies. Hopefully these showers in Bristol are only fleeting.

    1455: Stormy times

    The British weather has struck!

    It's thunder, lightning and a deluge of rain in Bristol, and the conditions are adversely affecting our live broadcasts.

    Please do keep coming back though, to see how our caterpillars and butterflies are faring. We'll still be attempting to show live images for the rest of the day, and we'll still be posting live updates.

    1432: Enjoying grubs

    "Glad to catch it," says Stuart Petch on Twitter about our live show. "Nick's enthusiasm and knowledge comes across in spades, really enjoyed it. Even the wasp grubs!"

    1426: Did you know?

    Breathing too much oxygen can be fatal to a moth or butterfly. Animals such as fish and mammals use proteins such as haemoglobin to transport oxygen around their bodies, limiting how much reaches their muscles. Insects breathe air through a series of branching tubes that deliver oxygen directly to their tissues. If too much gets in, it becomes toxic, so many insects close the openings of these tubes for over 15 minutes at a time. In effect, they stop breathing to help stay alive!

    1404: More please

    Lee Miller heard our call for comments and sent in this: "Wonderful shows , i've loved every minute, work has suffered this weekend!! Nick is excellent, very informative and shows passion for butterflys and moths.

    "I've learnt a lot this weekend! Well done to all who worked on this wonderful weekend, here's hoping for more!"

    1353: Exit stage left

    What a fantastic final show from Nick! Did you enjoy them, were they educational and entertaining? Please get in touch with anything you have to say, you can post to our Facebook page, tweet us or simply leave a comment on this page.

    And remember to keep sharing all your brilliant photographs with us on Flickr.

    1351: Light as a butterfly...

    Back to our earlier viewer's question: how much do butterflies weigh? Most are in the range of a few grams. The world's largest butterfly, the Queen Alexandra's Birdwing of Papua New Guinea, weighs up to 25g. The world's smallest is the Dwarf Blue of South Africa, which weighs less than 10mg!

    1338: Rock and roll

    No obvious drinker moth for Nick Baker! When asked what sort of moth he would be, Nick answered: "an Emperor Moth, they live fast and die young, very rock n roll!"

    1330: A first

    Wincey Willis from Hereford sent us a beautiful gatekeeper image this morning: "It is the first time I have seen one in my garden," she told us.

    Lucky you had your camera handy Wincey.

    1328: Snap it

    Earlier Nick was encouraging you to take pictures of butterflies and moths. You can improve your wildlife photography with our top tips, whatever your level of expertise.

    1326: Rosy footman

    Caterpillars of the Rosy footman moth just shown on the programme like to feed on lichen, especially dog lichen.

    1308: Wildlife gardening

    Nick has suggested planting cabbages to encourage butterflies. Take a look too at BBC Nature's top 10 plants every wildlife garden needs.

    1303: Can butterflies hear?

    Different butterflies can also hear higher and lower pitched sounds. This could help them detect potential mates, and predators such as bats and birds.

    1259: Rich list

    Marc Holloway on Facebook gave us a nice little nugget of information about purple emperor butterflies: "The purple known as royal colour and was the most expensive colour to produce hence only the rich could afford."

    Cool fact!

    1246: His Majesty
    Purple emperor

    We just used this beautifully colourful purple emperor photo from Iain Leach to replace the one on our purple emperor page. We think it is a fantastic shot, thanks for sharing Iain.

    It should definitely brighten any rainy day!

    1243: Can butterflies hear

    Susan Brewer asks on Twitter: Can butterflies hear and how much do they weigh? Butterflies can hear; and different species use different structures as 'ears'. Some species have ears at the base of their wings, a tympanic membrane that detects vibrations.

    1236: Wasps

    Sandi Tarby just got in touch to say: "I just wanted to say Thank you for your videos on the Wasps. I just wish they were longer!"

    They were awesome weren't they?

    1222: Did you know?

    Virgin male butterflies often make better lovers than more experienced males. Butterflies that copulate for the first time raise a greater number of young than those that have had previous sexual partners, perhaps because they haven't yet depleted their reserves of sperm.

    1212: Time for change

    If you haven't seen a caterpillar metamorphosing into a chrysalis then we have some extraordinary timelapse footage of a brimstone caterpillar doing just that.

    1204: Caterpillar ID
    Mullein moth caterpillar (copyright Julian Dicks) What will I become?

    Julian Dicks took to Twitter to ask Nick for help identifying this wonderful caterpillar he'd spotted. The answer, says Nick, is that this will become a Mullein moth.

    1148: Did you know?

    Male butterflies (and moths) produce two different types of sperm. More than 90% of the sperm they make is non-fertile, and just 10% is of a different fertile kind. It's unclear what role the non-fertile sperm play, but one idea is that they run 'interference', helping to block fertile sperm of other males swimming up the female butterfly's reproductive tract.

    1134: Whites and browns

    "I saw Gate Keepers, Speckled Woods, Marbled Whites, Ringlets and Meadow Browns at Walmer Castle Gardens" tweets Richard Oram.

    1130: Last chance

    As Nick Baker just said, it's your last chance to ask questions and get your photos identified as his last live show is at about 1pm, so get them to us on Facebook, Twitter or leave a comment here.

    And yes it is rain and thunder you can hear on the webcams!

    1123: Your peacock photo

    Taken yesterday by Chris Rowland and shared in our Flickr group - Lovely!

    1123: Eye spots

    New scientific research just published reinforces exactly what Nick is saying - but for caterpillars. A study has shown that caterpillars with eyespots are far less likely to be predated on by birds. We think it's because the caterpillar eyespots resemble the eyes of snakes, which scare away the birds.

    1112: True flies

    If you want to find out more about true flies - those with a single pair of wings, visit BBC Nature's fly pages.

    1050: Live Show

    Another fantastic live show coming up in 10 minutes! Stay tuned for peacock butterflies, small tortoiseshells and commas. Make sure to send in your questions to Nick at @BBCNature

    1025: Dreaming of butterflies

    For Claire Caldbeck it's all about the dreams as she tweeted us to say: "@BBCNature @savebutterflies what are you doing to me, spent then last 2 nights dreaming about Butterflies."

    1000: A swallow's tail

    If you have never seen a swallowtail before this one was taken by Matt Berry and shared with us on Flickr.

    0954: Big and beautiful

    Did you know that swallowtails are our largest resident butterfly with a wingspan of around 10cm, we even have our own race in the UK (Papilio machaon britannicus).

    Watch this big beauty in action.

    0924: A distraction

    Jan Baxter tweeted us just now to say: "it's too riveting, I really have to do some work today but watching livecams draws me back in!"

    We know the feeling Jan and hope you don't get into any trouble.

    0923: More please!

    And Vicky from Bath got in touch to say: "Can you please stream more of this? I find it absolutely fascinating!"

    And so do we Vicky! Unfortunately we are only streaming until about 6pm tonight.

    0915: Your say

    Simon Judge from Hertfordshire emailed in overnight to say "Just looking at your live pictures of the Eyed hawk caterpillar, I collected 6 eggs of the same species from my Apple tree, all these are now at the chrysalis stage and will soon hatch as a second generation.

    "I expect a 100% success rate, if left in the wild they would of almost certainly of been parasitized by some form of Hymenoptera."

    We hope you get it Simon

    0858: Perky peacock

    If you need any reminding of what these peacock caterpillars will emerge as, Miskatonic Nick took this fine example over the weekend and shared it with us on Flickr.

    0845: The count continues

    Don't forget the Big Butterfly Count continues, Butterfly Conservation still need your sightings! You can do it as many times as you like and so far they have had over 13,000 - this is brilliant but they still need more - check out the results so far this year.

    0820: Coming up

    Coming up we have more live caterpillar and butterfly action, your comments and Nick Baker will be back with the live shows and answering your questions so get posting to Facebook, Twitter or leave a comment here.

    And we still want to see all your fabulous photos so keep sharing them in our Summer of Wildlife Flickr group.

    0810: Good morning

    The lives cameras are now back! The nature team will be here to keep you informed and entertained throughout the day.

    2135: Night-night

    That's all from the BBC Nature team on Britain's amazing Lepidoptera, the Big Butterfly Count and the action from our live chrysalises and caterpillars.

    Time for a quick rest and then we'll be back here with more answers to your questions in the live shows hosted by the fantastic and knowledgeable Nick Baker and shown right here tomorrow from 08:00 BST.

    We'll be bringing you another day in the glorious Summer of Wildlife.

    2146: Silver y moth

    Joy Cushing sent in a wonderful picture of a silver y moth, taken in her garden a couple of days ago, to our Facebook page.

    Silver y moth

    The silver y is really quite special. It migrates from France, making use of warm air currents to travel further, faster.

    On its return migration, it flies faster than some birds do - going about 30-40mph, and using warm air columns rising above the ground to propel it in the evenings so it can really get a move on.

    The silver y knows when to head north - in the spring, and in the same way south in the winter.

    If the wind is blowing the wrong way, it will come down and land, staying put on the ground until the next night that the wind is blowing the way it wants to go!

    Scientists found that out they were flying so fast above us by using a vertical radar to detect the wingbeats of insects flying over our heads.


    2132: Childhood trauma:

    Wildlife Kate got in touch by email to say: "I have been fascinated by your coverage. I was an avid keeper of caterpillars when I was a child until my 'cabbage' white caterpillars erupted with maggots after having been parasitised.

    "I was highly traumatised by the whole episode (I was about 7 yrs old!) and didn't keep them again for ages! I can still remember my horror as they emerged out of the still live caterpillars! Thankfully, I have now recovered! :o) Thanks for the wonderful footage and Nick's great commentary!"

    2125: Rare breed

    Common blues are actually not so common any more, as they were bottom of last year's Big Butterfly Count.

    2123: Common blue

    Jonathan Green shared this with us on Facebook: "Female Common Blue. Whinfell, Cumbria. Did you know the Common Blue is the most wide spread of our UK butterflies due to its larval food plant, Birdsfoot Trefoil being found in almost all habitats...?"

    Common blue The picture Jonathan Green sent in of a common blue
    2120: Get this:

    Funny fact from Katherine Birkett on Twitter: "Nick was wearing that shirt the last time I met him! * Odd fact Of The Day *"

    2112: Miss that?

    If you couldn't quite see that picture Nick was pointing to from Andy Seely - it was an example of the high brown fritillary.

    High brown fritillary
    2051: A job to do

    Heather Campbell tweeted us to say: "Just checked map of #butterflycount. No records for @UniofReading campus yet. There's a lunchtime job next week! @BBCNature @savebutterflies"

    We could not agree more Heather :)

    2037: Photography tips

    Martin Hughes-Games says photography is the new way to "collect" butterflies and moths. Get some top beginners tips in our guide.

    2024: Keep counting

    Not long till our live event wraps up for the night but before it does we want to say a big thank you to everyone already doing the butterfly count.

    Like Susan Richardson, who tweets: "Did my Big #ButterflyCount in the garden yesterday. Ringlet, comma, 4 meadow browns..."

    Keep up the good work, butterfly-spotters!

    2017: Flutter by, butterfly

    We may be losing the light now but remember an overcast day is often the best time to see butterflies close up, when they aren't so busy.

    Butterfly beauties

    Our stars in the studio include peacock chrysalises; green-veined butterfly caterpillars; eyed hawk-moth caterpillars and puss moth eggs.

    Have you spotted any of these so far this summer?

    Tune in to our last live show here at 20:45 BST.

    2010: Did you know?

    The comma is our butterfly with the most rapidly expanding range - it is covering 10km further each year!

    1942: Green caterpillars

    Karan Wadsley sent us this photograph of a green caterpillar on her dahlia and wanted to know what it was.

    Well Karan, this did tax our expert! But eventually he got it and it is a dot moth, it is quite common and widespread, but did you know that there is also a brown form of the caterpillar.

    1920: Flashing eyes

    This peacock caterpillar will one day emerge as a beautiful butterfly, you can see how a terrifying encounter with a peacock sends a wood mouse packing!


    Are you counting the butterflies you see?

    Ellie Crane tweets: "Finally got round to #ButterflyCount... one measly small white! Submitted results but may try again tomorrow..."

    Hope you do Ellie! You never know what you might see.

    1900: Quiz answers!

    Well done to everyone who took part in our quiz on Facebook.

    Wings of top left to right: Small tortoiseshell, gatekeeper, common blue. Second row left to right: Red admiral, small white and peacock.

    The answers begin with, from top left: Small tortoiseshell, gatekeeper, common blue.

    Five of you almost got all the answers right - but the white one really had you stumped, and rightly so.

    In the second row they are (left to right): Red admiral, small white and peacock.

    It's really difficult to tell the difference between a large white and a small white, so we have to give those of you who got all the others and said large white some brownie points anyway!

    But one person got it 100% right - congrats Dee Stephens, from Dorset. Well done!

    For more tips on how to identify common garden butterflies, check out our BBC Nature advice.

    1845: Going dotty
    Ruth Crofts' six-spot burnet moths

    Ruth Crofts posted this image to our Facebook page so we could get Martin Warren to identify the spotted beauties.

    He says the red and black moths are six-spot burnet moths. Thanks Ruth!

    1836: Warm and fuzzy

    Thanks Jess Cripps for your praise on Twitter: "Love these little live shows by @bugboybaker and @BBCNature learning a lot even when the rain is pouring! Thank you! @BBC_Springwatch"

    1824: The challenge

    Can you help Nick out and send us a side view of a pale tussock caterpillar? Share it with us on Flickr, Facebook or Twitter.

    1804: Here we go

    Sit back and relax with some of your spectacular pictures.

    1747: Look and listen

    Coming up at 18:00 BST: Tune in here for live commentary from Nick on the beautiful pictures you have shared with us in our Summer of Wildlife Flickr page. And keep sending in your photos!

    1727: Probing proboscis

    Well Andrew, our expert tells us that they have muscles in the proboscis that are controlled deliberately to extend it when it visits a flower. Thanks again Martin!

    1708: How strong?

    Andrew Burchell asked us an intriguing question via email:

    "I have just had the pleasure of watching a red admiral feeding on Chives. I observed that its proboscis was much longer than the two types of hoverfly that were also attempting to feed. It then occurred to me that the proboscis must have muscles. Does it control these muscles instinctively or to what extent can it consciously control these muscles?"

    1650: Winging it
    butterfly wings

    By now you guys should really know your butterflies, right? So now is the time to test yourselves with our quiz and find out if you can identify these common garden butterflies from their wing. Give us your answers by Facebook, Twitter or leave a comment here, answers later!

    1637: Dead butterflies

    Zoe Smith asks on Twitter: "I can count at least 10 butterfly's that had transformed but only there heads popped out and they died why?"

    Our butterfly expert Martin Warren says: "They could be parasitised, but sometimes butterflies can get a virus in captivity, so it's always a risk."

    1615: How to help

    Nick Baker said earlier "we're worse for butterflies than maggots are!" If you'd like to do something to help conserve our fluttering beauties we've got lots of information on wildlife gardening, volunteering and being a citizen scientist.

    1554: Cocoon question

    Freja from Wales asked us: "how long do the caterpillar's spend in a cocoon or does it vary on species?"

    Martin replied with yes it does depend on species and is often only 2 - 3 weeks unless they are overwintering.

    1548: Parasitic wasp

    Within the body of the living caterpillar, these parasitic wasp grubs are spinning their own cocoon to pupate inside - "life within life" as Nick says.

    1537: Along for the ride

    Have you seen the wasp grubs that just burst out of our small tortoiseshell caterpillar? If you're fascinated by this gruesome sight, you might like our parasite videos featuring such horrors as vampire plants, zombie snails and nostril-dwelling mites!

    1530: Doing well

    Gerry Davies from Worcestershire would like to know if "marbled whites are more common this year?" as he has been seeing dozens of them being very active in the Malvern Hills.

    Well Gerry it looks like they are having another good year according to our expert Dr Martin Warren and it is something that Butterfly Conservation are keen to find out.

    1452: Go gatekeepers!
    Gatekeeper Gatekeeper butterfly

    Meadow browns are usually the most common grassland butterfly found in the UK but Dr Martin Warren, CEO of Butterfly Conservation, did a count at a nature reserve last week and gatekeepers were definitely coming up trumps!

    1438: Big is beautiful
    Death's head hawk-moth Death's head hawk-moth

    Hawk-moths are proving to be very popular with our audiences. The eyed hawk-moth caterpillar in our studio is just 12mm long, while these death's head hawk-moth caterpillars can grow up to 12cm! Thanks to Mike Leigh Mallory on Twitter for sharing this pic.

    1427: Answers through art

    We absolutely adore your butterfly and moth photographs - such a talented audience!

    Find out more about what we can learn from these incredible close-ups in our snapping bugs article.

    1414: Another success story
    Dark green fritillary Dark green fritillary

    Another butterfly that is having a good year is the dark green fritillary. There have been record numbers reported from wildlife reserves in Dorset and Wendy in Plodda Falls, the Highlands, saw seven this year compared to just one in 2012.

    1402: Spreading out

    The Essex skipper has expanded its range enormously in the past decade because of the warmer climate. But the comma is the real record-breaker, expanding at a rate of 10km north every year and has now reached Scotland. In recent years it has also been spotted on the east coast of Northern Ireland.

    1353: Colourful commas

    Commas have some of the most distinctive wing shapes of all our British butterflies. They also have some interesting colour differences.

    The Polygonia c-album (Hutchinsoni form) is paler - particularly on the underside of their wings - and these butterflies produce a second brood. In comparison, the butterflies that overwinter are much darker. Have you seen any this weekend?

    1340: Telltale traits
    Essex skipper Essex skipper

    Deborah on Twitter got in touch for Martin to ID this butterfly. With his guidance Deborah went back into her garden for another look and identified it as an Essex skipper! This species can only be distinguished from the Small skipper by looking head-on at the antennae - the Essex skipper has black tips to the antennae.

    1335: Stunning stats

    Latest figures from Butterfly Conservation show that survey results have just passed the 12,000 marker - great work everyone and keep it up!

    1323: Museum memories

    Did you know the Natural History Museum in London has the world's biggest butterfly collection? See some of the most precious specimens - usually kept away from public view - in this spectacular audio slideshow.

    1310: Muslin moth

    Live on the webcams is a muslin moth caterpillar, you can see its mouth parts moving - it must be lunch time!

    1252: Expert ID
    Common blue Common blue feeding on knapweed

    We have Butterfly Conservation CEO Dr Martin Warren in the office and he's sharing expert insights all day - here is a photo from Jaki Bent on our Summer of Wildlife Flickr group. Martin has identified it as a common blue - and he loves the picture, thanks Jaki!

    1239: Your sightings

    Thanks for telling us which butterfly species are more common in your area. Wendy on Twitter saw 7 dark green fritillaries at Plodda Falls in the Highlands, while Didsquid spotted peacocks, commas, small tortoiseshell, brimstone and meadow browns - fantastic!

    1226: ID time

    We're getting our expert Martin Warren to identify some of your butterfly and moth photos so send in any you're having trouble with via Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

    1212: Chased away

    Chris Leslie sent us a message about a summer spectacle he witnessed:

    "Was amazed yesterday afternoon to see a Small Tortoiseshell chasing away Peacock butterflies from a Buddleia bush in our garden. It would spiral with them up into the air, and sometimes fly right at them!

    Thanks so much for the TV and Live Web - love it!"

    1201: Tortoiseshell triumph

    Small tortoiseshells are definitely out in force this year, with lots of you reporting sightings. Butterfly Conservation expert Dr Martin Warren thinks that this may be due to a high larval survival rate, possibly due to the long, late winter.

    1144: Frass-inating

    Nick Baker's just enlightened us to what caterpillar poo is called - it's frass. And just as Chris Packham uses dropping to ID mammals, frass can be used to find out what kind of caterpillars live in an area.

    1139: Studio star

    Our studio eyed hawk-moth caterpillar is very young - it is busy feeding in a typical hawk-moth position along the centre of the leaf. You can see its internal organs against the back-lighting - including a tube-shaped heart that is beating!

    1130: Popular poplar hawk-moths

    Lots of you have been seeing poplar hawk-moths during the butterfly count, and they are certainly very striking insects. On the Summer of Wildlife Flickr group, icemelter4 uploaded this incredible image of a pair of poplar hawk-moths - thank you!

    Poplar hawk-moths Poplar hawk-moths on a leaf
    1125: How are our painted ladies?

    Expert Martin Warren from Butterfly Conservation has joined us. He says reports of painted ladies are down this year making them "almost notably rare". Have you seen any?

    1111: Nick Baker's back!

    It's what you've been waiting for - Nick Baker will be back on the live webcam coverage at around 11.20am. Keep watching for fantastic butterfly facts, expert IDs and the latest on what's been happening in our studio.

    1052: Send us your questions

    Nick will be live on the webcams in the next hour so if you have any burning butterfly questions or moth mysteries for him to solve please get in touch via Facebook, Twitter or the 'Comment here' box on the right.

    1043: Broads beauty

    Lucky Linda Hurren left us this message on Facebook:

    "Have just got home from a holiday on the Norfolk broads where we very much enjoyed being surrounded by many hundreds of butterflies mainly swallowtails"

    We've got some video clips of Britain's biggest butterfly if you'd like to see some.

    1032: On the move

    Have you seen the eyed hawk-moth caterpillar live on our web feed? It's on the move - let's see where the cameras follow it...

    1022: Make it matter

    It's well worth spending 15 minutes doing the butterfly count this weekend, but did you know you can do the survey as many times as you want? It doesn't have to be done in the same area and surveys can be submitted until 11th August. You can find out the results in your area and across the country.

    1016: Derbyshire delights

    Tony Clarke got in touch to tell us about his butterfly bonanza yesterday:

    "We had an excellent no of butterfly species in our garden yesterday (Sat.) Species seen were, Large/Small Whites, Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Red Admiral, Comma, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown. But most amazing was the appearance of a Silver washed Fritillary (very damaged) mid afternoon. It fed on our Buddleia before flying off. This is probably one someone has released as It would be very unusual to see one in Derbyshire?"

    0951: Feeding time

    Gardeners often wonder what's eating their carefully cultivated crops. Many butterfly and moth larvae feed on specific foodplants, such as Silver Y moths, which eat pea and bean plants, coddling moths, which feed on apples and the bright-line brown eye, which favours tomato plants.

    0938: What you can see

    We'll be keeping a close eye on our papery peacock chrysalises today and hope to see some butterflies emerging live on the webcams. If you need a reminder of what a peacock looks like take a look at our collection of videos

    The small tortoiseshell caterpillar we were watching yesterday also turned into a chrysalis overnight and has started its pupation.

    We're also keeping an eye on the breezy buddleia to see what visitors it attracts and Nick will be back in the studio to share his best butterfly facts.

    0928: Helping hand

    We've got Butterfly Conservation expert Dr Martin Warren coming in today to help answer your questions and ID your photos so send us your trickiest ones!


    Loubielootoo on Twitter has seen over 20 red admirals on her buddleia, RJBuxton encountered "clouds of whites" and peacocks, while Jess Cripps found tortoiseshells, commas and a four-spotted footman on the cliffs at Falmouth. What has been your best butterfly spot? Tell us using the comment button below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

    0854: Oak eggar moth
    Oak eggar moth

    Here's a lovely shot taken by Kris Reynolds of an oak eggar moth. We've dedicated our weekend to butterflies and day-flying moths so if you've seen any beauties let us know and share them in our Flickr group.

    0841: Guided walks

    If you're heading out for a day of butterfly spotting, take our butterfly ID guide and our wildlife photography guide with you - then send us your pics on Facebook or Twitter.

    0821: Your top spots

    We've been asking for your favourite places to see butterflies and Carolyn Serter got in touch via Facebook to say:

    "Holkham Nature reserve is magic for butterflies and dragonflies buzzing around, had a red darter dragonfly sit on my hand while devouring a fly.... WOW"

    0800: Good morning

    Hello all, we're back for another fun-packed day of butterfly and moth spotting! Please send us your pictures, questions and comments - we've got live webcams until 10pm tonight and Nick Baker will be making appearances with loads of facts and tips.

    2200: Goodnight!

    That's all for today from the team. If you've enjoyed a day spotting butterflies and moths with us then good news - we're back tomorrow with more of the same!

    Will the tortoiseshell finally pupate? Will there be any surprises from our other webcam stars? Will Nick sing 1980s pop tunes?! Join us from 8am to find out.

    2156: Arms race

    Have you ever wondered why some moths have such ornate antennae? It's all about trying to avoid bats and other predators. Bats in return have evolved bizarre features to develop super-sensitive hearing so they can seek out the moths.

    Read more about their battles in this feature on the "lords of the twilight"

    2140: Nature nearby

    Helen Strong got in touch via Twitter us to say her favourite place to see butterflies is right on her doorstep:

    "anywhere! Today we found 20-30 Peacock butterflies, all over the Buddleia just behind my mums house! #hiddengems #homesfornature"

    2130: Wildlife watching

    If you're wondering where you can see some of our most spectacular species, check out our guide to where to watch UK wildlife.

    And why not let us know what treasures you have locally via Facebook, Twitter or using the 'Comment here' box on the right.

    2117: Waxing lyrical

    Joanna shared this wonderful poem with us on Facebook that she wrote for the butterflies and moths:

    "I spin a shroud about the past,

    Travel to deep primordial places,

    Where I dissolve and resolve,

    Rearrange my very molecules,

    And imagine myself flying."

    2057: How to help wildlife

    Are you getting inspired by the Big Butterfly Count? Don't stop there, see what else you can do with our guide on how to get involved in wildlife surveys.

    2036: Weird world

    If you enjoyed Nick Baker's discussion of gruesome parasites you might like our parasite videos featuring such horrors as vampire plants, zombie snails and nostril-dwelling mites!

    2019: A fresh small tortoiseshell
    A fresh small tortoiseshell A fresh small tortoiseshell

    We were so eager to see a recently emerged small tortoiseshell that we looked for one on our Flickr group, and here we are. Thanks very much Andrew Cooper!

    2002: When it pops...

    Find out how you'll be able to identify this small tortoiseshell butterfly once it has emerged with our guide.

    1947: Any time soon!

    Nick Baker says on Twitter:

    "LIVE right now - I think the Small Tortoiseshell is about to pop! Notice the transparent end of his abdomen .."

    We're on the edge of our seats!

    1851: Eye witness

    If you've ever wondered why some caterpillars have eyespots, you're not the only one. Canadian scientists made replicas out of modelling dough to see if the spots really kept predators away.

    You can see the results of their experiment in our photo gallery.

    1828: Delight in white
    white cabbage butterfly

    Look at this fantastic shot of a green-veined white that Jacob Spinks posted in our Flickr pool.

    If you want to get started in the exciting world of wildlife photography here are a few tips for beginners.

    1802: Did you know?

    Males of some butterfly species, including the green-veined white butterfly, coat females in foul smelling chemicals after they have mated; in a bid to make her distasteful to other males that might also want to reproduce with her.

    1748: #ButterflyCount

    Holly York writes on Twitter:

    "Brimstone, Comma, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood, Ringlet, Brimstone, Large White & Small White recorded for the #ButterflyCount in the garden"

    Have you submitted your sightings to the Big Butterfly Count yet?

    1736: Making a splash

    If you've been concerned about our webcam stars don't worry - caterpillars can survive quite a lot of rain because they breathe out of their spiracles - small openings on their sides.

    1700: Male or female gatekeepers?

    You can tell the difference between a male or female gatekeeper butterfly by the male having dark patches between the eye spot and the body on their upper wings. These are the male scent glands.

    All butterflies have scent glands but some are more obvious to see than others.

    1648: Small skipper
    Small skipper butterfly

    Ed Phillips asks on Flickr if this is a small skipper butterfly and we can confirm that it is. You can tell by the orange tips on the end of it's antennae.

    Essex skippers are similar to look at, but they have black tips on the end of their antennae. The small skipper is common throughout most of England.

    1632: Green fingers

    Rowenna Millar asked for gardening tips on Facebook:

    "Should you cut long grass and hedges to generate fresh growth for caterpillars, and if so, how and when does cutting cause least damage to existing caterpillars, eggs or pupae?"

    Sue Smith answered:

    "Different butterflies have different needs but traditionally grass is cut at the end of July and hedges in the winter.

    It's best to clear cuttings away too so that the ground doesn't become too nutrient rich and strong grasses take over."

    1621: Latecomers

    This year, most butterflies have emerged about three weeks later than previous recent summers. Common blues have been notable by their absence in many areas. This was also the case for spring species.

    1601: Butterflies thriving this year

    Ringlets, meadow browns and marbled whites all doing well this summer following last year's success, in spite of 2012's wet weather.


    Lance Chilton's emailed us about his garden visitors in Norfolk where the sun is still shining:

    "Large numbers of gatekeeper butterflies in the garden the last few days - far more than in any previous summer. Are they migratory? Also ringlet, meadow brown, peacock, small tort, large + small whites."

    Expert Sue Smith tells us that although gatekeeper butterflies aren't migratory they do emerge all at once - and they particularly like to feed on marjoram nectar.

    1543: Fluttering by in Belfast

    thonoir says on Twitter:

    "Small, large & green-veined whites, small tortoiseshell & speckled wood in Botanic Gardens, Belfast. #butterflycount"

    1531: Hummingbird hawk moth

    Experts Sue and Bob tell us the humming bird hawk moth has reached all parts of the British Isles. If you've not seen one before Paul took this fantastic photo and shared it in our Flickr group.

    A hummingbird hawk moth feeding

    Maureen Harry has emailed us:

    "I would just like to share with you the unusual site I saw last week. unfortunately I didn't manage to film it, but I saw a beautiful Humming Bird Hawk Moth I live in Chester and thought it was most unusual to see it there."

    1510: Fairweather friends

    Have you seen our large white buffeted by the breeze? Butterflies don't enjoy windy conditions because it makes it difficult for them to mate.

    Experts are hoping the recent calm, hot weather has helped boost numbers. It certainly makes for better spotting conditions!

    Keep counting

    You can do the Butterfly Count as many times as you want - and it doesn't have to be from your home. Why not head to the local park and do the count again?

    1451: Total transformation

    The small tortoiseshell should become a chrysalis this weekend, live on the webcam feed. Nick Baker says: "You can see the silk pad clearly, and how his hooked feet on the last pair of prolegs are hooked in place." We're excited!

    1435: Munching caterpillars

    Butterfly Conservation has a brand new website, Munching Caterpillars, that has loads of info aimed at families and the younger generation. Find out how to ID butterflies and moths, learn how to build a moth trap or use the Ask An Expert section to keep up with your butterfly counting!

    1427: Surprising stats

    We're getting a lot of moth queries today but this isn't surprising - in the UK alone there are over 2,500 species of moth, while there are just 59 species of butterfly...

    1421: On the move

    The small tortoiseshell caterpillar in our studio is waiting to shed its skin for the last time before pupation. It has attached itself to a branch using silk and you can see the caterpillar's body rippling as it prepares for the old skin to detach. The final layer of skin will harden, forming the outside of the chrysalis.

    1407: Bringing in butterflies

    Mike Leigh Mallory on Twitter has suggested some extra garden plants that are great for attracting butterflies: "Have both Alder buckthorn and Purging buckthorn in my garden. Brimstones lay eggs on these every year! Other fantastic nectar sources to plant in your garden The Ice Plant Sedum spectabile and Verbena bonariensis." Thanks Mike!

    1352: Eating habits

    Generally butterflies and moths eat wild and native plants rather than garden plants - good news for gardeners! Many like to eat nettles, such as the small tortoiseshell, peacock and comma, while other species stick to specific food sources. For example, footman moths eat algae and lichens, the brown butterfly family eats grasses and certain moths only eat plant roots, not the foliage.

    1335: 2013 latecomers

    According to Butterfly Conservation, the latest three species to be spotted in the British Isles are the Scotch argus seen in Moray on 15 July, the silver-spotted skipper found on 22 July in Oxfordshire, and lastly the brown hairstreak, seen in Dorset on 24 July. The earliest recorded sighting this year was an orange-tip, seen in Oxfordshire on 27 February.

    1320: Your counts

    Urban Pollinators on Twitter has had a successful morning: "Just took part in the Big #ButterflyCount: 2 Peacock, 3 Meadow Brown, 8 Gate Keeper, 8 Whites, 2 Skipper, 1 Brimstone, all on my allotment" - What have you seen? Send in your counts and images using the comment button below, or via Facebook and Twitter.

    1309: Identifying butterflies

    Seen a butterfly or moth today that you don't recognise? Share it with us on Facebook, Twitter or our Flickr group and we'll get our experts Bob and Sue to ID them for you.

    1259: White plume moth
    White plume moth White plume moth

    This unusual-looking insect is a white plume moth. They are often seen during the day, and lots of you have spotted them around the country. The larvae feed on bindweed so you may find them if you're in the garden weeding this weekend!

    1240: Probing question

    John Murray on Facebook asks: "What are the things stuck to the proboscis of this chalk-hill blue I have noticed these on large skippers too this year?" Our experts Sue and Bob think it is probably the pollinating parts of plants that detach as the butterflies are collecting nectar.

    Chalk-hill blue butterfly A chalk-hill blue butterfly on ragwort
    1226: Wingless moth

    Lots of you have seen Vapourer moth caterpillars this summer. Dean Williams from Flintshire saw one hatch into a wingless female, which laid about 50 eggs. All wingless moths are female, including the March moth and the Winter moth.

    1218: Silver-washed fritillary

    Are you seeing this silver-washed fritillary? According to our expert Sue Smith these butterflies lay their eggs on tree trunks above the caterpillar food plant, rather than laying eggs on the food plant, as other butterflies do.

    1212: More please

    Snoozymouse on Twitter loved Nick Baker's live show on our webcam and Red Button this morning: "Really enjoying these shows! Can we have a Fri night moth trap/Sat morning reveal on red button every week, please?!"

    1156: In your area

    Pamela Willis emailed to say she'd seen "what I think is a tiger moth in my garden. I live in the south east of London. Is this moth in my area?"

    According to our expert Bob Smith, these moths are common throughout the country, so yes - it probably is one!

    1154: Ask the experts

    Sue and Bob Smith of Gloucestershire branch of Butterfly Conservation are now in the BBC Nature offices - we have tons of questions to ask them but want to hear yours too. Send in your questions using the comment button below, or via Facebook and Twitter.

    1149: Butterfly summer

    Wow what a show! There'll be more from Nick later on today, in the meantime please keep your questions coming in.

    1147: Ruby tiger
    Ruby tiger moth

    If you didn't get to see the ruby tiger moth earlier then Dennis Jones shared this beautiful example with us in our Flickr group.

    1136: Did you know?

    Footman moths were named in the 1600s. Only members of the nobility had time to study moths, and they decided that the shape of Footman moth's wings was similar to the shape of a foot servant's long coat tails!

    1128: Moth traps

    Nick is inspecting a specialist moth trap on the live webcams. The simplest (and cheapest!) way to observe moths is to hang a white sheet next to a bright light at night-time. With this method you'll need to stay and watch as the moths land - they'll be gone by morning :)

    1122: Your moth photos

    Nick's moths keep getting away from him, so have you got any pictures of ruby tiger moths, dark arches or elephant hawk moths to show us? Please share them on Flickr, Facebook or Twitter

    1051: Questions for Nick

    The brilliant Nick Baker is back with another live show in about 10 minutes with the results of the moth trap from last night.

    Do you have any questions for him? If so then leave them on our Facebook page, via Twitter or a comment on here.

    1045: Beautiful buddleia

    You can see butterflies on the buddleia on our live webcam at the moment - buddleia is a big hit with butterflies and other pollinating insects. RHS wildlife gardening expert Helen Bostock suggests her top 10 plants for your wildlife garden, so get planting!

    1016: Top planting tips

    Jen_Jayne on Twitter has been busy giving British butterflies a helping hand: "de-weeded my garden yesterday and planted some butterfly/moth/bee plants! Hopefully they'll like them…" Which plants do moths and butterflies love in your garden? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or leave a comment using the button below.

    0955: Did you know?

    Marbled whites are most commonly seen in the early morning when they bask in the sun. Their preferred habitat is flower-rich meadowland, although they may also be found around grassy verges.

    0943: Marbled white
    Marbled white

    Karen White took this splendid photograph of a marbled white yesterday and shared it with us in our Summer of Wildlife Flickr group - we love the colour and extraordinary detail.

    0929: Snapshots!

    Joon123 on Twitter has already identified five species this morning - what have you spotted? Upload images of your best spots to our Summer of Wildlife Flickr group, or post them via Facebook and Twitter.

    0915: Inside a chrysalis

    What happens inside a chrysalis? Scientists used x-ray technology to finally get some answers - read about it and watch the amazing video in this article.

    0904: Any questions?

    We have butterfly and moth experts Sue and Bob Smith from Butterfly Conservation joining us in the BBC Nature office today. They will be answering your questions and helping to explain what we are seeing on the live cameras. Post your questions for Sue and Bob on Facebook, Twitter or leave a comment here.

    0839: Six-spot burnet
    Six-spot burnet

    To see just how spectacular these day-flying moths are here is an image that was submitted to our Summer of Wildlife Flickr group by Clive Weedon.

    0825: Favourite moth

    Julia Carr from Folkestone told us what her favourite moth is: "Six Spot Burnet. Stunning in every sense!" - Yep that's one of our favourites too :)

    0820: Moth night

    Tim groves got in touch last night by email to say "My daughter and I were just releasing poplar hawk moths that we raised from caterpillars from a moth the cat brought in, when wife came out and said that bbc were showing a program on butterflys and moths - really enjoyed it and went well with the evenings moth activities - excellent!"

    0802: Good morning!

    Welcome to another butterfly and moth extravaganza. Coming up today we have live action and commentary on our webcams, expert analysis and Nick Baker is back for more live shows.

    2232: Goodnight!

    Hope you enjoyed Nick's show. We are looking forward to hearing all about your butterfly and moth adventures over the weekend.

    That's all from Jeremy and Ella tonight, the webcams will be here through the night and we'll be back with more live shows and commentary from 8am tomorrow morning.

    2218: Snout

    What a great moth the snout is, have you seen one of these? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and the comments here.

    2205: Nick Baker live

    Hope you enjoyed the show and now it's time for Nick Baker's first live show - enjoy!

    Bedtime reading

    We've got lots of info for anyone hoping to help butterflies. Check out our wildlife gardening guide to attract more to your green patch - and then use our ID guide to work out what you have!

    2157: Who's watching

    From LearningEllie on Twitter "A moth has joined us in living room to watch @bbcnature butterfly and moth springwatch special on BBC2 now!"

    2144: Mellow meadows

    They are talking about wildflower meadows on the Springwatch special, it's the perfect place to go butterfly spotting. Read about this amazing habitat in our guide.


    Looks like Fiona Gruber is enjoying the show! She tweeted:

    "swooning with excitement watching butterfly and moth special and LOVE the CRAZY music choices"

    2134: Moths glorious moths

    Did you know that here in the UK we have over 2,000 species of moth, incredible!

    2126: Incredible photography!

    Joanna Maunder got in touch with us on Facebook to say "Incredible photography! I've never seen so many weird, wonderful ( and spikey!) caterpillars...and that poplar hawk chrysalis... How amazing was that?! Well done Springwatch team"

    2121: Second screen

    Are you using your phone or tablet to watch our webcams at the same time as watching the Springwatch special? If so get in touch on Facebook, Twitter or use the 'Comment here' box on the right.


    This lovely caterpillar story was shared with us by Tina Beck on Twitter "an elephant hawkmoth caterpillar fell off our pergola onto my dad's dinner plate a couple of summers ago, gave us all a fright!"

    We love this tweet!

    2054: Springwatch time

    Time to make a cup of tea and settle down for the Springwatch Guide to Butterflies and Moths on BBC Two.

    We'll be here throughout so keep your comments and questions coming. Nick Baker will be providing some answers here after the show.

    2050: Colourful moth
    Scarlet tiger moth

    Michael Edwards shared this amazing scarlet tiger moth on our Facebook wall proving that moths can be colourful too!

    2040: Weather woes

    Kathleen Stott asks on Facebook:

    "What species of butterflies are in decline this year due to all the rain we had"

    Both rare butterflies and common ones suffered from last year's wet weather - numbers of black hairstreaks, heath fritillaries, common blues and cabbage whites were all down in the annual count. But conservationists are hopeful that the recent heatwave could boost numbers this year.

    2005: Caterpillar confusion

    Ali tweeted us to say "we found a caterpillar. Put it in a tank. It turned into a pupa. Out came a wasp! My 6 year old was baffled."

    Sounds like a case of parasitic wasps to us!

    Let us know if you have any other caterpillar related stories on Facebook, Twitter or use the 'Comment here' box on the right.

    1956: Small tortoiseshell
    Small tortoiseshell

    These caterpillars will eventually turn into a beautiful tortoiseshell butterfly like this one shared by Linda Peall on Flickr.


    Nick Baker tweeted from the studio:

    "I think our Caterpillar has a parasitic fly egg on its back!"

    Have you spotted it?

    1934: The bugs' friend buddleia

    Did you see the small tortoiseshell on our buddleia? Butterflies love this nectar-rich plant. If you'd like to attract butterflies to your garden, check out our gardening tips.

    1926: Defensive measures

    Caterpillars have a variety of defences to keep hungry predators away, including the impressive spines you can see on our small tortoiseshells.

    While none of our native species can harm you, invasive oak processionary moth caterpillars are causing problems in South London and Berkshire.

    The Forestry Commission are warning people not to touch the hairy green and white animals which are found on oak trees because they can cause rashes and irritation.

    1857: Burnished brass moth
    Brass moth

    This fantastic close-up of a burnished brass moth was taken by Dawn Porter today in Somerset and shared in our Flickr group. Anybody taken any more moth photos today?

    Did you know?

    There are moths that drink the tears of elephants. There are moths outside the UK that also feed from the tears of dogs, cats and marsupials, and occasionally people. Scientists think the moths feed on the water, salt and trace proteins in tears, making them a nutritious source of food.

    1828: Butterflies Count

    Butterfly Conservation's annual survey is off to a great start by the sounds of @savebutterflies' tweet:

    "Wow, nearly 9,000 counts so far on #ButterflyCount, lets break the record this year"

    You can join in the count yourself by visiting the Big Butterfly Count website

    1823: Cool caterpillars

    The caterpillars that are currently munching on a leave are small tortoiseshell, one of most common and colourful butterflies.

    1811: Springwatch special

    Don't forget the Springwatch Guide to Butterflies and Moths is on BBC Two tonight at 9pm. Chris, Michaela and Martin will be getting up close to our fantastic flutterers.


    Susan Brewer sent this poem that she wrote over 30 years ago:

    "The butterfly Did mutter, 'My How I love To flutterby'."

    We love it :)

    1737: Moth magic

    We're not just watching butterflies this weekend but mysterious moths too! Send us your cryptic questions for Nick Baker and we'll see how many he can answer.

    1724: Did you know?

    One butterfly that lives across the channel in Belgium and France has an extraordinary lifecycle. Caterpillars of the Rebel's large blue live inside ants' nests, eating ant grubs. They also imitate the sounds made by queen ants to curry attention and favour from the worker ants they eat.

    1656: Bring out the babies

    Time for some caterpillars! Keep your eyes peeled as we switch between adults and grubs.

    1651: Wings of love

    It's been looking a bit breezy in our garden. That's not great for butterflies looking for love - they find it more difficult to mate when it's too windy!

    1632: Sun worshippers
    Common blue

    Common blues love being out and about in the sun, so keep your eyes peeled. Ian Courtney on Flickr captured this fantastic shot of one settling on a flower.

    1625: Remains of the moth

    Thanks today to Butterfly Conservation's Surveys Manager Richard Fox, who has been helping us identify butterflies and moths you've spotted. He's identified this pic by @cattyfizzle on Twitter for example as the severed abdomen of a Privet hawk-moth!

    1600: Butterfly or moth?

    We've had some lovely Small tortoiseshells visiting our garden today. They can often be confused with male Emperor moths, that fly during the day.

    1538: Flutterbyes

    Our live butterflies are so winsome, we're moved to ask for your favourite butterfly songs, poems and stories?

    1531: Purple hair
    Purple hairstreak butterfly

    Spotted any Purple hairstreaks? You can just see this one's shock of vivid colour in this photo shared by Mark Milham on Flickr.

    1506: Memories

    Butterflies seem to evoke memories of childhood. Mary P shares this on Twitter: "I love the Peacock butterfly - beautiful and reminds me of chasing them with my net as a kid".

    1459: Spotting them all?

    There are around 60 species of butterfly and 2,500 species of moths in the UK, according to Butterfly Conservation.

    1448: Counting butterflies

    Butterflies are at an "historic low" this year but the warm weather could boost their numbers. Butterfly Conservation are calling for people to join their Big Butterfly Count and contribute to conservation.

    1433: Reds and Oranges

    More favourite suggestions: the Red admiral via @aBugBlog, the Brimstone via @EmilyCoyte, and the Orange-tip by @craftygreenpoet.

    1410: Identifying butterflies

    We'll be keeping you up to date with the butterflies and moths on our screens. But do try to identify those you can see. If you need help, try our handy Butterfly identification guide.


    Speaking of small coppers, here's a stunner shared via our Summer of Wildlife Flickr group by Anne Johnston.

    1400: Small copper
    Small copper butterfly
    1353: Coppers and Commas

    The Small Copper gets a vote from Martin Goodey on Twitter, while Amy Oxborrow suggests the Comma. @BioBunch suggests the Holly Blue.

    1345: Marbled whites

    Our first contender for favourite British butterfly: the marbled white, with these images posted on Flickr by @BlackCat_Photos. You can find out more about marbled whites at Butterfly Conversation.

    1320: Breaking News

    We are live, broadcasting from a beautiful garden in Bristol, southwest England! We'll be bringing you live footage of British butterflies and moths, and live shows presented by enthusiast and expert Nick Baker. Stay tuned!

    1240: Not long now

    We're just finalising our technical set up, and will soon be bringing you live footage. In the meantime, contact us via @BBCNature on Twitter or our Facebook page, and tell us which is your favourite British butterfly or moth and why.

    Giant wings

    Not long till our butterfly and moth live event, which starts soon after 12pm today, and runs all weekend. To whet your appetite, check out this winged beauty. It's not a native, but has just emerged at the @NHM_London butterflies exhibition. Thanks to @butterflybloke for sharing.

    1038: Breaking News

    Visit BBC Nature from Friday through till Monday for a long weekend of live butterflies and moths. We'll be hosting webcams of adult and emerging butterflies and moths, and live shows presented by wildlife expert Nick Baker. All to help celebrate the Big Butterfly Count and the BBC's Summer of Wildlife Season.

    1346: Wolves in the UK?

    With howling wolves in the news today we ask the question would you have wolves and bears living next door to you? Have your say on Facebook, Twitter or leave a comment here.

    Utterly butterfly

    We are celebrating Big Butterfly Count in style this week and first up is this colourful gatekeeper that was shared to our #summerofwildlife Flickr group by Brian Kirby.

    1052: Gatekeeper
    Gatekeeper (c) Brian Kirby
    1725: Damsels and dragons

    From butterflies to damsel and dragonflies - we can't get enough of the UK's beautiful winged insects this week. This picture gallery, created from your stunning Flickr photos, celebrates National Dragonfly Week.

    1558: Beautiful butterflies

    Enjoy this beautiful photo gallery: Sun shines on UK butterflies

    1440: Summer of Wildlife Flickr Photo

    Thanks to Testudo Man for sharing this beautiful photo of a purple emperor butterfly.

    Make sure you share your summer wildlife photos on our Summer of Wildlife Flickr group.

    1440: Purple emperor butterfly, by Testudo Man
    Purple emperor butterfly
    1342: Big Butterfly Count

    Here's how you can help our butterflies and moths by taking part in the Big Butterfly Count, run by Butterfly Conservation.

    1055: Summer safari

    Have you got some wildlife watching plans for the summer? If not here are a few ideas for where to watch some of our star species. We would love to hear about your #summerofwildlife so far on Facebook, Twitter or by leaving us a comment.

    0839: Kingfisher dive!

    If you get a minute have a look at this spectacular action shot of a diving kingfisher that was shared on our Facebook page wall by Greg Coyne and leave a comment.

    1629: Share your #summerofwildlife photos

    Thanks to Brian (bojangles_1953) for sharing his lovely herring gull family portrait photo.

    Please keep sharing your wonderful wildlife photos with us on the Summer of Wildlife Flickr group.

    1624: Herring gull and chicks, by bojangles_1953
    Herring gull adult and two chicks
    1554: Tweet of the Day - Herring gull
    1750: Owl quiz - the answer!

    For everyone that said little owl (Athene noctua), you were right! Lovely lighting really shows off this little beauty on a stroll, and was captured by Russell Savory and shared in our ‪#‎summerofwildlife‬ Flickr group. It was so good that we had to make it our main image on our little owl page!

    1736: Answer: Little owl
    Little owl
    1243: Owl quiz

    Quick pop quiz: Which owl can be seen in the day, flies with a slight undulation and bobs its head up and down when alarmed? Find out soon when we post one of your fantastic Flickr photos on our Facebook page.

    1351: Dragonflies

    Our new dragonfly photo is a fantastic image of a broad-bodied chaser shared by John Murray. It now has pride of place on our dragonfly page.

    Please keep sharing your wonderful #summerofwildlife photos with us on Flickr.

    1345: Dragonfly: Broad-bodied chaser
    Broad-bodied chaser dragonfly resting on vegetation
    1118: Tweet of the Day

    Listen to Steve Backshall reveal the wonders of the coal tit on Radio 4's ninety second Tweet of the Day programme. Tweet of the Day is a series of fascinating stories about our British birds inspired by their calls and songs - listen to the back catalogue here: Radio 4's Tweet of the Day past programmes.

    1008: Summer meadows

    North East Wales Biodiversity Network say on Facebook: "Off to do a plant survey at Coed Nercwys to see how the meadow at the Old Shepherd's Cottage is progressing since it was developed & seeded a few years ago."

    Let us know about any wildflower meadows you've seen this summer and share your photos on our Summer of Wildlife Flickr group.‬

    1353: Breaking News

    ADVICE ALERT: We've been issuing some incorrect advice about how to feed insects in your garden, particularly honeybees. In our Summer of Wildlife handbook, we suggested attracting insects using a sweet solution of honey and water. Please DO NOT place honey or honey extract solutions in your garden. Honey, especially if it is not British, may transmit two diseases that can infect and destroy honey bee colonies. To avoid unwittingly passing this disease to our native bees, make a sugar solution only using white granulated sugar and water.


    Mark Chivers captured some lovely detail on this hobby in flight, it now has pride of place on our hobby page. Keep sharing your #summerofwildlife photos with us on Flickr.

    1452: Hobby
    A hobby
    1232: Who is next?

    The next Flickr image to get pride of place on one of our pages during the #summerofwildlife is a bird of prey about the size of a kestrel with long pointed wings and seen in and around woodland edges, can you guess which one it will be?


    On Facebook Estelle Sandford commented 'we've got crows attacking our windows on our new house.' While Abi Fallows said that she 'had an entire family of magpies visiting my kitchen windowsill, it was pretty funny, almost like watching a really bad remake of Riverdance.'

    1029: Your comments

    You have had loads to say on 'scary' crows! Luvlyloulou tweeted 'I woke up one morning to the local crows making a awful noise, i went to look they were flying at my window trying to get my cats' while GriffithsDamian wondered 'Crows hold grudges, what have these residents done?'

    0813: 'Scary' crow

    Who has been scared by a crow? These residents of Allestree say a 'scary' crow is keeping them awake by pecking at their windows. Leave a comment here, on Facebook or Twitter - we would love to hear from you.

    1740: Corncrake call

    Did you catch today's Tweet of the Day on Radio 4? If not, have a listen to the rasping call of the corncrake with Steve Backshall.


    What image could better capture the feeling of long, warm days than a seeding dandelion? Katie Pillidge shared this striking photograph on Flickr.

    1616: Dandelion
    0832: Winning performance

    Congratulations to Andy Murray on the Wimbledon title! Enjoy some winning performances of our own from nature's top showmen.


    The superb detail and colour of this high brown fritillary give it an otherworldly appearance don't you think? It was shared with us by Andy Seely on Flickr.

    1323: High brown fritillary
    High brown fritillary
    1200: Clever cockatoos

    With cockatoos picking locks in the news today here is our collection of videos featuring some super smart animals.


    We have chosen this endearing photo of a pine marten to head-up our page, it was shared by Andy Nayler in our Flickr group.

    1549: Pine marten
    Pine marten
    1310: Bat-tastic answers

    According to the Bat Conservation Trust website we are lucky enough to have 18 species of bat in the UK, 17 of which are known to breed here. Well done to everyone who got it right including Lin Sherwin, Naomi Keehnen and Harry Thomas. A special mention to Marc Holloway for his very comprehensive list.

    1150: Quick quiz

    We are asking how many species of bat breed in the UK? Join in on our Facebook page right now.

    0835: Bat maps

    The first detailed, large-scale bat distribution maps have been produced with the help of 15,000 bat recordings from the Lake District. Tell us about your batty experiences on Facebook, Twitter or leave a comment here.

    1618: Northern nightingales

    Did you know that the blackcap is also known as the 'northern nightingale' after its delightful fluting song? Over on Facebook Annette White told us: "We get them in our garden for a few days around the New Year, either male or female, but I haven't heard them sing."

    1652: Missing moths

    On Facebook Elisabeth Amnegard-Fisher says: "I've been doing hay meadow surveys for NT in the Peak District and we all commented on the lack of butterflies and moths, and ladybirds too"

    1224: Insects in trouble

    Have you noticed a lack of butterflies this year? The National Trust say the cold spring weather is responsible for a slump in our winged insects.

    1333: Lesson from history

    Over on our Facebook page Marc Holloway let us know that "Sea Lampreys are one of the few fish reputed to have killed a King. Henry I was reported to have died in Normandy in 1135 after feeding too heartily on lampreys!"

    1158: Primitive vertebrates

    Sea lampreys are in the news today. There are three species of these most primitive of vertebrates in the UK, one of which is the brook lamprey.

    0906: Protecting our wildlife?

    One of the UK's biggest conservation charities has called for a fresh way of funding wildlife protection, after budget cuts to the UK environment department Defra.

    1611: Proud to be King

    Kingfisher is the next page to be 'taken over' with one of your stunning images during our Summer of Wildlife, share yours in our Flickr group. Proud to be King was shared with us by Mark Medcalf.

    1604: Kingfisher

    Here in the UK we have some wonderful warblers, have a look at the videos on our grasshopper, willow and reed warbler pages.

    0848: Warbler Wednesday

    Comments on our Facebook page are suggesting that a new species of bird discovered in Cambodia resembles a Dartford warbler. Let us know in the comments what you think?

    1531: Small but mighty

    Easily overlooked wrens are surprisingly loud; they are also the commonest UK breeding bird with 8.5 million pairs!


    First up this week is a cracking shot of a bumblebee shared with us by Martin Webber, just look at that detail! It now has pride of place at the top of our bumblebee page.

    0858: Bumblebee
    Bumblebee on flower
    1710: Cry of the corncrake

    If you live near one of the few remaining strongholds of the corncrake, and are lucky enough to hear its haunting call this weekend, let us know at BBC Nature on Facebook and Twitter @BBCNature.


    This cracking shot is the new image for our red squirrel page, it was shared by Peter Trimming in our Summer of Wildlife Flickr group.

    0833: Red squirrel
    Red squirrel
    1235: Tweet of the Day - Lesser whitethroats

    Radio 4 tweets: "The more the male lesser whitethroat is in love, the less he sings - sound familiar?"

    Take 90 seconds out of your day to listen to Tweet of the Day and discover more about these amazing birds.

    0916: Doting dads
    1254: Osprey update

    If you watched Springwatch then you'll know about the Dyfi Osprey Project. Here's their latest update, posted on Facebook: "Day 27 - Bore da (only just). Tick tock, tick tock. With around ten days left, all eyes are on those precious eggs. Such hope and promise lies within their shells. Monty is doing a fair bit of the incubating this morning with Glesni perched nearby."


    The new image for our slow worm page was shared by Graham Hall in our Summer of Wildlife Flickr group - we love the colour, textures and detail.

    0823: Slow worm
    Slow worm
    1758: Have a lovely weekend!

    Have a great weekend everyone! If you're looking for something to do, check out the Summer of Wildlife nature activities happening near you.


    Bottlenose dolphin is today's page for a makeover. This stunning action shot was shared in our Flickr group by Alister Kemp.

    1340: Bottlenose dolphins
    Bottlenose dolphins breaching Bottlenose dolphins in action
    1050: Late orchids

    Sue and Keith from Ascot have left a comment: "Just to say we have noticed lateness with the orchids at our favourite spot. The early purple were at their peak a couple of weeks ago - much later than usual."

    What have you noticed in your local patch? Either leave a comment here, on our Facebook page, or send us a tweet.

    1741: Farewell to the webcams

    We've turned off the webcams in our feed now but you can still see the last few hours of coverage over on the Springwatch website.

    1658: Woodpecker

    Every time we look at the woodpeckers on web cam four, one is poking its head out of the nest, keeping vigilant or searching for something.

    1203: Summer of Wildlife goes global!

    Robert has emailed - all the way from Salto, Uruguay - and says: "Hello, this is amazing idea. I LOVE IT... Many greetings from Uruguay."

    Well Robert, thanks for getting in touch and glad you've been enjoying the conversation and webcams!


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