30 Days Wild – Day 25!

The moth trap was surprisingly quite for such a muggy night, perhaps the recent poor weather means there are just not many moths flying. I posted a plume moth the other day and mentioned their odd wings, although the one I showed had wings folded, here is a white plume moth showing the wing structure.

white plume moth

A new moth for the year was a festoon, a moth of oak woods that is surprisingly scarce at Blashford.

festoon “moth on a stick”

After drizzle early the day brightened and the dragonflies came out, this male scarce chaser was by the Education Centre pond at lunchtime.

scarce chaser “dragonfly on a stick”

It was a day of odd jobs either in the office or out on the reserve and after a bit of path trimming and making a new Hampshire gate, I was off to Fishlake Meadows for the first time in a while. This is a fabulous site, a wetland that has established itself on former arable farmland when the pumps which kept it dry were turned off. Not only is it an amazing bit of habitat but it is more or less in the town of Romsey, or at least a short walk for most of the town’s residents. It has an osprey more or less resident for the summer, marsh harrier, hobby and red kite regularly flying over and warblers in abundance.

blackcap one of several “birds on sticks”

I saw juvenile warblers all over the place with blackcap, whitethroat, sedge and reed warbler and lots of Cetti’s warbler.

Cetti’s warbler juvenile

There has also been a pair of stonechat breeding this year and I found one of the juveniles preening in a small bush beside the path.

stonechat juvenile

The real joy of the place is the extensive shallow water and fen vegetation it has developed, this is what supports all the insects that in turn support many of the birds. Lots of teh marsh and fen plants have “frothy” flowers and none more so than meadow sweet.

meadow sweet

Running it pretty close though is meadow-rue, something of a specialist in more alkaline wet areas than the less fussy meadow sweet.

meadow-rue

Lots of flowers attract lost of insects and I found another chafer beetle, I think my third species of the #30DaysWild this year.

garden chafer

When I got home the sun was still out and I took a quick look in the garden mini-meadow and found a meadow brown, I like to think it was born and bred in our meadow, but even if it has flown in, it is making a home in our meadow.

meadow brown

Rather rarer in gardens, although not in ours as we have a colony close by, is silver-studded blue, this was the first in the garden this year and unlikely to have been reared here.

silver-studded blue

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