Monday, 4 May 2009

SWOG Butterfly ID day

Yesterday we hosted a butterfly ID day in our wood, run by Steve Wheatley from Butterfly Conservation and attended by about 10 SWOG (Small Woodland Owners Group) members.
We started with Steve giving us a talk about butterflies, and why identifying them and keeping centralised records is important. He needs lots of people like us to note down what we see and send records to him periodically, so that they can keep track of species numbers and use the information in scientific research and also in planning permission issues and other stuff like that. He also gave us some tips on how to ID butterflies, including the differences between the various white species, and using knowledge on which months the butterflies can be seen to help narrow down the choices.
We took a walk along the wayleave and also along our wildlife corridor, stopping at various points to talk about what we were seeing.
There was patchy cloud, so it wasn't a perfect day for butterfly spotting, but we still saw quite a few. Here's the ones I got pictures of. A Peacock, looking a bit ragged:A Speckled Yellow - actually a day-flying moth rather than a butterfly:
A Brimstone - this is the first time I have ever seen one of these land so I could take a picture! A shame it wouldn't spread its wings out, but at least I now know a potential spot to go and try again.
We also saw some other interesting things as we went around, such as this bird nest up a pylon. Any ideas what it might be?
and in the wildlife corridor, where we were felling just a few months ago, as well as several butterflies we found an adder, which had probably been basking in the sun:
It didn't like the attention, and slithered off to a hole in a coppice stump - it certainly seemed to know exactly where to go and hide!

No comments: