A Trip to Kitts

A quick bit of catch-up. On Thursday we did not do a volunteer task, but instead went up to Kitts Grave, the part of the Martin Down National Nature Reserve that belongs to the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. The site is managed as part of the wider reserve by Natural England, but we do a couple of tasks there each winter and it is always good to go an see how the habitat is developing. We have been helping with scrub clearance there to reinstate chalk grassland patches and rides within the scrub. It seems to be working well and the area is fabulous for a wide range of insects. Unfortunately Thursday was mostly dull but luckily warm enough for some insects to be about. Very obvious, as they sat around on the foliage in full view, were several scarlet tiger moth.

scarlet tiger

scarlet tiger moth

The mix of scrub and grassland is very good for ringlet and they don’t mind flying even in very overcast conditions.



As the grassland area grows we will no doubt be seeing more and more marbled white, the dull conditions meant they were basking with their wings wide open, something they rarely do in sunshine.

marbled white on creeping thistle

marble white on creeping thistle


3 thoughts on “A Trip to Kitts

  1. Great shots of the Lepidoptera, lucky you! My best month for butterflies this year, (2016) was May, June 1 or 2, this month July, not one up the 9th, and the Buddleias in the garden are in bloom. The weather, climate change is definitely having an adverse effect up here in Lincoln ☹

    • It does seem to be a very slow season, with lots of species rather late. Lepidoptera seem to be picking up but most of the Diptera just don’t seem to be out there at all, lots of the spring hoverflies and soldierflies just did not seem to be there at all. Hopefully just a single season “blip” but I have to say numbers and diversity of insects do seem to be on a downward spiral in recent years.

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