Next couple of weeks packed with events and activities
This Saturday, 21st June, sees the start of National Insect Week http://nationalinsectweek.co.uk/ and there are masses of events across the country which will bring people together to celebrate bugs. The Antrim area is particularly well served with loads going on and topics include Bees, Ladybirds and even Rhinoceros! (beetles). Do check out the events page and even if you can’t get to something, the website is packed with great ideas for how you can get into insects more.
Saturday, the 21st June – Belfast (Full details on National Insect Week website)
You can join Catherine Bertrand from Butterfly Conservation and the Cavehill Conservation Campaign folk for a walk up Cavehill. They’re meeting at Belfast Castle at 10am and heading along the transect to practise butterfly ID and talk about surveying in general. This event is part of Insect Week, so they’re hoping to have some goodies to give away. They’ll be recording as we go so plenty of opportunity to practise botany, Ladybirds and bees as well as everything else! Bring a packed lunch, suitable gear for the weather and terrain and a camera/net if you can.
Friday, 27th June – Claudy/Faughan
Butterfly ID training and Survey Techniques with Faughan Valley Landscape Partnership in Claudy. They are following this up with moth trapping on the Friday night/Saturday morning (28th), and then leading a special survey training day on the original Wider Countryside Survey Square on the 3rd July. Full details of these events can be found on Faughan Valley Landscape Partnership website . If you are interested in the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey and live in the north/west, do come along if you can, this is the main training event for that area this year.
Moth Night 2014 runs from the 3rd-5th July http://www.mothnight.info/
Check out the website for updates, so far there are events planned in Ring of Gullion – Armagh, Watertop Farm – Antrim, Giant’s Causeway, Drumnaph Farm and Woodland – Derry, Greenmount College – Antrim, Glenarm Estate – Antrim, and the Turnip House – Down. You are welcome to join in, wherever you are and way in which to do so are suggested on the site. If you want to host an event, even just a wee garden party for you and your neighbours, it’s worth a go, this is the annual celebration of Moths. If you need help with ID, the Facebook Group is proving an excellent source of information and discussion, easy to find if you search for ‘Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland’.
The Watertop Farm event on the 5th July will include butterfly ID training and walk, so if you are interested in WCBS but can’t get to our events in Derry/Down, do come to that if you can and I’ll make time to go through WCBS with you.
Thursday 10th July – Castle Espie
The Eastern WCBS training day will be at Castle Espie. Details are still being firmed up, but they’ll meet at 10am for a 10.30 start and the day will include moths, butterfly ID, survey methodology and hopefully a site visit to practise if the weather is good. There is a great cafe at the site, or you can bring a packed lunch. Suitable clothing for the outdoors, hopefully baking sunshine.
And of course before we know it Big Butterfly Count 2014 will be upon us, running from the 19th July – 11th August. If you would like to run an event as part of this but haven’t mad firm plans, there are still some gaps in the diary. Last year was our biggest and best to date, so I hope we get some good weather, there should be bumper number of butterflies to see. It’s a great way to galvanise interest in recording and help get people out into familiar and new areas. http://bigbutterflycount.org/
Hope you’ve been enjoying this wonderful weather. Lots of reports of Hummingbird Hawk-moths on the wing, so keep your eyes open, it’s a Hummer Summer so far! You can log these and watch their progress on the Butterfly Conservation Migrant Watch page http://butterfly-conservation.org/612/migrant-watch.html
Catherine Bertrand said, “Hope to see you somewhere in the next few weeks, thanks for your ongoing support. This is certainly the best year so far since I’ve worked for BCNI beastie-wise, and I hope all of you get your hearts lifted by butterflies, moths and wildlife in general in the sunshine.”