Milkmaids is one of the many common names of Cardamine pratensis, a spring-flowering plant that loves our damp meadows and stream edges. In Wiltshire we know it more often as lady’s smock or, because it flowers when the cuckoo returns to Britain, as cuckoo flower.Continue reading “Eight maids a-milking”
The Winter moth (Operophtera brumata) is one of the few moth species that can cope with winter’s freezing temperatures in its adult stage. They are endothermic which means that they can produce heat internally by biochemical processes, just as warm-blooded creatures do.Continue reading “Winter moths”
by Ian Bushell
Last Sunday we were invited by Simon and Carey, the owners of Southwick Court, to carry out a moth trapping in their garden. In the evening Hugo and I set up the moth trap in the old orchard and we returned on Monday morning to see what had flown into the trap and to identify them. Carey brought us hot tea and took many photographs.Continue reading “Moth trapping at Southwick Court “
Ian has sent in pictures of a late season red admiral.Continue reading
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”
During last week’s moth trapping in Village Green, Ian and Hugo identified an oak lutestring (Cymatophorima diluta), a UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species, classified as scarce and local. This is the thirteenth BAP priority species of Lepidoptera identified in the reserve: the hard work we put into our woodland habitat is paying off!Continue reading
by Ian Bushell
These are the results from Tuesday (03.09.21) evening’s moth trapping with lepidopterist Hugo Brooke.Continue reading “Moth trap”
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”
Picture of the week
A beautiful small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) feeding on ragwort, photographed yesterday in the reserve by Clive Knight.
Highs and Lows
The past couple of weeks in the park have brought me some wonderful highs and unfortunately, some truly depressing lows. I will get the lows out of the way first, as I want to end on a positive note.Continue reading
A newly hatched, pristine peacock butterfly photographed yesterday by Clive Knight.Continue reading
A purple hairstreak (Favonius quercus) seen on the edge of the reserve and photographed 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
By Ian BushellContinue reading “What IS this?”
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
Six spot burnet moth
This is a six spot burnet moth (Zygaena filipendulae), a dayflying nectar feeder. Regular volunteer, Clive Knight photographed it yesterday on the reserve’s plentiful, nectar-rich, tufted vetch.Continue reading
This is the caterpillar of the drinker moth (Euthrix potatoria), photographed in the reserve on Sunday. It is so named because the caterpillar is believed to drink drops of dew on grass stems.Continue reading “Drinker moth caterpillar”
There are small tortoiseshell caterpillars (Aglais urticae) among the nettles by the path in Simpson’s Field. Take a careful look as you walk past.
Cinnabar moths (Tyria jacobaeae) have been reported from the reserve in the past week.Continue reading “Cinnabar moth”
Spindle Ermine Moth
To improve the reserve as habitat and increase its biodiversity, the Friends have been planting trees for years: whips and saplings of many different species to thicken the hedges and copses.Continue reading