Saturday, 31 May 2014

another day on Portsdown Hill ..

The Week 9 butterfly transect in Compartments 1 and 2 on Portsdown Hill produced sightings of brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni), large white (Pieris brassicae), orange tip (Anthocharis cardamines), small blue (Cupido minimus), common blue (Polyommatus icarus), small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) and speckled wood (Pararge aegeria) along with a single large skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus); burnet companion (Euclidia glyphica) moth was also recorded.
common blue

large skipper
large skipper (underwing)
burnet companion
In Compartment 3 the caterpillars of the lackey moth (Malacosoma neustria) and brown tail moth (Euproctis chrysorrhoea) were very evident, along with common carpet moth (Epirrhoe alternata).
A second (and probably third) large skipper was also seen in the Paulsgrove Chalk Pit area. Bee orchids (Ophrys apifera) are also showing well in the Chalk Pit.
brown tail moth caterpillar

common carpet moth

lackey moth caterpillar

burnet companion

bee orchid

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Portsdown Hill - butterflies and occasional moths

A few butterflies and moths from a morning spent on Portsdown Hill - most are from the transect undertaken in Compartment 1 and 2, the last three are from the Paulsgrove Chalk Pit.

From Compartment 2:
Nemophora degearella

green hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)

brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)

common blue (Polyommatus icarus) male

common blue female

orange tip (Anthocharis cardamines) male

red admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

small blue (Cupido minimus)

small blue

small white (Pieris rapae)

speckled wood (Pararge aegeria)

From Paulsgrove Chalk Pit:

Mother Shipton (Callistege mi)

small blue

small blue

Sunday, 18 May 2014

hazel dormice (Muscardinus avellanarius L.) survey with PTES on IOW

An enjoyable and educational weekend undertaking the extensive hazel dormice nest box survey based in woodland on the Isle of Wight, managed by the People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES).

Along with recording mammal activity. British Trust for Ornithology had requested that data on birds nests also be recorded. All nest box recording activity was undertaken with respect to suitable licences, and supervised by a licence holder for each cohort of surveyors.

Mammal species found by this survey cohort were hazel dormice and wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) - different nest structures were found including woven unstructured, woven structured, brown leaf nest.

Bird's nests were identified as blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), great tit (Parus major) - not shown - and wren's (Troglodytes troglodytes). Seperating the first two types of nest was not as easy as the descriptors indicated, as crossover of features was noted when birds were present - as such where birds were not present ID may have been more subjective.

Bee's nests were also found in the nest boxes, the only bees found by this survey cohort was later identifed as belonging to the tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) a recent colonist to the UK - first found in Wiltshire in 2001.

unstructured woven nest
containing single male dormouse

brown leaved nest with single wood mouse

unoccupied blue tit nest (above)
seven recently fledged blue tits in nest (below)

woven structured hazel dormouse nest containing three dormice

wren's nest
Bombus hypnorum (record shot)