Another Busy Day

Thursday, August 23rd 2012

The Belted Galloways continued to eat the grass as children on the August Antics event, walked across the moor looking for butterflies and day flying moths, but there were few on the wing due to the strong breeze.

Belted Galloways on the moor

We saw Speckled Wood butterflies displaying in sunny sheltered spots.  Cinnabar Moth caterpillars were found on Ragwort.  The Puss Moth caterpillar showed off his true legs and his claspers, that he uses to help him attach to twigs.  We also collected his 'breakfast', more willow leaves!

Hoverflies were feeding on the Teasels growing through the Scrapes.  

Hoverfly on Teasel

Later in the afternoon another party of children went pond dipping and their catch included large pond snails and a leech that caused excitment as it 'walked' across the sink by contracting and relaxing its muscular body.  Sticklebacks and caddis larvae were also caught.  A surprise was a large divinbg beetle.  The children were able to see it breath as it came to the surface of the water to collect a bubble of air just under the tip of its wings.  You can just see the air bubble right at the tip of its body, in the photo below.  Surprising as it may be these beetles can take to the wing.

Diving Beetle

Yesterday the volunteers worked on the heath clearing birch, willow, thistle and Blackberry and today it looked a picture as the purple Heather was able to be seen without being swamped by the other vegetaion.  Bees, hoverflies and some butterflies will feed from the Heather as it is a rich nectar source.

The cleared heatland

Brian, Tony, Mike and Sarah volunteered today and carried out a varity of tasks, from sorting tree tubes to preparing wood to mend a gate and helping with the events.  Thanks to all the volunteers who help Foxglove look so good!

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