Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Garden catch up - end of Summer 2015

As the weather has turned and the summer feels lost to this wind and heavy rain, I just wanted to take the opportunity to capture the garden highlights for the summer. All records new for garden [NFG].

A single male slow worm (Anguis fragilis) was present from May 12th to May 23rd. The month also produced moth records for light green apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana), and Esperia sulphurella.

June produced migrant moth sightings of Hummingbird hawk moth (Macroglossum stellatarum), and yellow shell (Camptogramma bilineata). Whilst 14 spot ladybird (Propylea 14-punctata), made a welcome change from the usual Harlequin (Harmonia axyridis) numbers seen.

In July, small skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) was observed nectaring on red campion (Silene dioica) on the 17th, and a gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) arrived on the 31st.

The gatekeeper brought the garden total to 12 spp of butterfly, although an attempt to review the 2013 record of Essex skipper (in light of current learning, was inadvertently sabotaged when the original photo files were deleted by mistake!). A dodgy 12 but a solid 11 nevertheless!

August brought a confirmed record of common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) when two were observed foraging along the hedge-line.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Oxenbourne Down - cracking day out with Butterfly Conservation

We joined a field trip with the Hants and IOW branch of Butterfly Conservation. Headed to Oxenbourne Down, which is adjacent to Butser Hill, and sits within the Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Target species silver spotted skipper (Hesperia comma), chalk hill blue (Polyommatus coridon), small copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and clouded yellow (Colias croceus). We dipped on the last two species but still clocked up 20 butterfly spp including great views of both silver-washed (Argynnis paphia) and dark green fritillary (Argynnis aglaja) on the wing.

Non butterfly highlights included slow worm (Anguis fragilis) and a single roe deer (Capreolus capreolus breaking cover.