Friday, April 21st 2023
For many years I have walked around Foxglove in spring waiting for a Bee Fly to land and stay still long enough for a decent photograph. More often then not, I take a splodge! They feed using a long proboscis which they carefully position into a flower to reach the nectar. Yesterday whilst hunting for other species I spotted a Bee Fly. Watching it carefully it landed on a Primrose and began to feed, and then it settled with all of its feet on the flower. A photo and I must admit I was really pleased with the result. I was amazed at the markings on its wing.
Warm sun meant that Jenny and Kate could carry out the butterfly transect. They recorded Peacock, Speckled Wood, Comma and Brimstone. I managed to photograph a pristine Peacock. Usually they look a little worse for wear when they come out of hibernation.
Further around my walk it was a Comma that caught my eye. It stayed still just long enough for a photograph but it was not in the best position! Pesky vegetation!
I am still waiting for a Brimstone to land anywhere within camera range.
The moth traps have been out overnight. Catches are not high but it is nice to see some of the moths that live across the reserve. All the butterfly and moth data is sent to the VC65 recorders, helping to build up the picture of moth and butterfly populations. Jenny was checking the sheet on which the moth traps are placed and was just about to throw a small twig away when she realised that it had legs. It was a moth. Checking its ID it was found to be Red Sword-grass. They frequent damp woodland, mountain moorland and marshy places. In the autumn this moth feeds on Ivy and overripe Blackberries, after which it goes into hibernation. When it wakes in spring it feeds on willow catkins. This moth is not a regular visitor to our traps.
The only difference between the moth and a twig is its massive antennae.
Twig or moth?
During the week the volunteers have been busy with species recording and habitat management. There were some new measurements on show yesterday. The distance between the posts had to be from finger tip to finger tip across Carl and the hole for those posts had to be as deep as Hayley's arm! Thank you to all the volunteers who have been involved on the reserve. Your work is much appreciated, helping to prepare Foxglove for the seasons ahead.
There are no comments for this blog post yet. Why not start the discussion? - use the form below: