The peacock caterpillars will be growing fast at this time of year.Continue reading “Peacock caterpillars”
A comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album), so-called for the small white comma-shaped mark on underside of its hind wing.
All images take in the reserve by Clive Knight
The distinctive marbled white (Melanargia galathea) is common and widespread in southern England. At this time of year it chooses unimproved meadow grassland, showing a preference for purple flowers such as wild marjoram, thistles, knapweeds and red clover. The caterpillars feed on grasses particularly red fescue.
All images taken in the reserve
 Mating marbled whites by Ian Bushell)  Marbled white male by Ian Bushell Marbled white feeding on red clover by Cheryl Cronnie
Header Image by Cheryl Cronnie
Butterfly Conservation priority: Low
European status: Not threatened
I have had a few early mornings in the reserve in an effort to photograph butterflies before they get too active. It has often been quite breezy, which has made it challenging to get some good images. But one morning I was fortunate to find this common blue that I was able to get reasonably close to, and during the periods when the wind briefly dropped, I was able to fire off a few shots.Continue reading “Chasing butterflies”
A small skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) feeding on red clover, photographed in the reserve by Ian Bushell.
Conservation priority: low.
Distribution: common and widespread.
Population trend since 1970’s – down by 7%
A beautiful photograph of a speckled wood (Pararge aegeria) against a backdrop of buttercups, taken in the reserve by Cheryl Cronnie.Continue reading
The female small tortoiseshell butterfly lays her eggs on nettles. Every year there are small tortoiseshell caterpillars somewhere among the nettles next to the path as you walk up the hill through Simpson’s Field.Continue reading “Small Tortoiseshell Caterpillars”
While they were tidying up the edge of the big pond last week, the Friends found a drinker moth caterpillar (Euthrix potatoria), so called because it is believed to drink drops of dew on grass stems.Continue reading “Drinker moth caterpillar”
It’s not often that the reserve’s first reported butterfly of the year is a comma. This pair, basking in the sunshine, were photographed by Clive Knight on Monday.Continue reading “Comma”
One of the delights of September is a pristine, newly hatched, late brood small copper butterfly. This one was was photographed last week in the reserve by Clive Knight.Continue reading “Small copper”
This late in the year, there are few butterflies about but there is always a speckled wood (Pararge aegeriais) somewhere. Here is one on hawthorn berries photographed in September 2019 by DKG.Continue reading “Speckled wood”
Ian Bushell conducted a Butterfly Transect in the reserve at the weekend.
The transect route in the park samples its habitat types and management units. Butterflies are recorded in a band five metres wide along the transect. Transect walks are undertaken between 10.45am and 3.45pm and only when weather conditions are suitable for butterfly activity.
Here are the results.Continue reading “Butterfly transect”
The white-letter hairstreak, so named because the white lines on its underwing form a W, is the emblem of the Wiltshire Branch of Butterfly Conservation and is the focus of a project to return this butterfly to our countryside.Continue reading
Towards the end of July, a second brood holly blue butterfly (Celastrina argiolus) was spotted in the reserve and photographed by Clive Knight.Continue reading “Holly Blue”
A newly hatched, pristine peacock butterfly photographed yesterday by Clive Knight.Continue reading
Clive Knight has sent in beautiful photographs of two butterflies: a brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) and a large white (Pieris brassicae). Although both are members of the Pieridae family, they have significantly different life cycles.Continue reading
Wild carrot progress report
Pictures and a message from Clive Knight:Continue reading
A lot of Lepidoptera
from Ian Bushell and Clive Knight
 Blood vein moth  Meadow brown  Ringlet  Small heath  Painted lady  Small skipper.
Header Image: Comma by Ian Bushell
The peacock caterpillars will be growing fast at this time of yearContinue reading “Peacock caterpillars”
These few warm days have brought the reserve to life.Continue reading
Message from Ian
Speckled Wood, Peacocks, Orange Tip and Brimstone knocking about.Continue reading “Butterfly season”
by Ian Bushell
In 2017 a White-letter Hairstreak butterfly was recorded in the park. These beautiful butterflies are the emblem of Wiltshire Butterfly Conservation group. They feed on English or Wych Elms, which unfortunately over the past few years have been ravaged by Dutch Elm disease, leaving dead gaunt trees within some hedge lines.Continue reading “Disease Resistant Elms”
Already, there are butterfly sightings from the park.Continue reading “Butterfly sightings”
A Walk In The Park
by Ian Bushell
I had a quick wander round the park this afternoon to see what needs doing, to assess the ragwort situation in the fields, and look at the tree damage done by the wind. There were three Roe Deer under the Owl Oak in the Church Lane field across the Lambrok, where they are planning to build houses..Continue reading