There are many tasks in conservation that seem never ending. The annual ‘ragwort pull’ and ‘Himalayan balsam bash’ are just two that need attention every year and whilst its great to see the results of the groups work, you just know that there will be more next year. In many respects, keeping on top of such regular maintenance of the reserve is a little like gardening, but on an industrial scale.
One job that occurs every year, about March time, is cutting back the buddleia in order to prevent it getting too massive and encouraging lots of flowers to attract butterflies. Unlike the former tasks, this one always promises rewards in the future, and this year it has been spectacularly successful.
Yesterday and today there have been masses of Brimstone, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small White, Large White, Green-veined White, Silver-washed Fritillary, Painted Lady, Gatekeeper, Small Tortoiseshell and Comma butterflies nectaring on the buddleia. More unusual was the appearance of a Grayling, which although one/ some have been seen in previous years are really creatures I associate more with the heathland habitat of the New Forest. With such a sumptuous line-up I found it difficult to pick out which ones to share with you, so here goes.
And an added bonus, nearby on some marjoram was this Small Copper.
A common day-flying moth, the immigrant species Silver Y, are also not averse to taking advantage of the buddleia.
Whilst standing near waiting to get some of these pictures this rather stunning yet tame, green-eyed fly decided to settle on me. Any suggestions???
I know that one of the highlights of the mothing event on Friday was the Garden Tiger moth. One turned up on Saturday and today, so I thought I’d share this image with you as well.