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I'm rubbish at butterflies so my summer project is to learn to recognise the common butterflies in my part of East Lancashire. Butterflies are fairly common around here but I suspect there is a limited number species around.

As the first steps to know the enemy, I sat down with two reference works:

'Britain's butterflies' by Newland and Still pub Wild Guides 2015
'Butterflies and Day-flying Moths of Lancashire pub Lancashire and Cheshire Fauna Society 2019 so bang up to date.

Well the first step is to keep this achievable so we will bin the moths for the time being. Going through these two tomes I have got it down to about 25 with records from my part of East Lancs, so manageable. Here goes:

+Small Skipper rough grassland Jun-Aug
*Large Skipper rough grassland Jun-Aug

Orange Tip meadows Apl-Jun, Aug
*Large White open ground Apl-Jun, Aug-Sept
*Small White open ground Mar-Jun, Aug-Sept
*Green-veined White open ground Apl-Jun, Aug-Sept
+Clouded Yellow meadows (clover) May, Aug, Oct
+Brimstone hedges/woodland Feb-May, Aug-Sept

+Wall May-Jun, Aug-Sept
Speckled Wood woodland Apl-Sept
+Small Heath grassland May-Jun, Aug-Oct
+Ringlet wood edges Jun-Aug
*Meadow Brown grassland Jun-Jul
Gatekeeper grassland Jul-Aug
Red Admiral buddelias, nettle Mar-Oct
Painted Lady Apl-Jun, Jul-Oct
*Peacock woodland clearings Feb-May, Aug-Sept
*Small Tortoiseshell gardens Feb-Sept
Comma Feb-May, Jun-Jul, Sept

Small Copper waste Apl-Jun, Jul-Aug, Sept-Oct
+Purple Hairstreak oak July-Aug
+Green Hairstreak heath/moor May-Jun
+White-letter Hairstreak elms Apl-Aug
+Holly Blue holly Apl-May, Jul-Aug
+Common Blue May-Jun, Jul-Oct

The Lancashire guide helpfully also says which parts of the county the society has received records for. As with all citizen reporting, that may reflect activity of reporters as much as activity of butterflies but it is a good start. Those with an * are described as being particularly common in my area so let's begin with these. + indicates those which have been seen in the area but are more localised.

Just to start off with, a Peacock (c) Magnus Manske under Creative Commons Licence

Peacock Magnus Manske