I seem to have been very busy recently, a couple of days away and evenings spent out surveying nightjar have left no time for blogging. The last few days have produced a few notable species in my garden which I will cover, a Blashford update will have to wait a bit longer I’m afraid.
The other day I recorded my first silver-washed fritillary in the garden, it was on a Buddleia, the “butterfly bush”, I do not grow the common davidii, which seeds freely and can be an invasive species in dry habitats. To avoid the seeding risk I grow a sterile hybrid known as Buddleia weyeriana, it may not be quiet as attractive to insects, but has the advantage of a much longer flowering season.
The moth trap has been productive as well, warm nights are always good for moths and we have had lots of those recently. The pick of the recent catches has been a very smart mocha, caught a couple of nights ago.
Followed last night by a Jersey tiger, this splendid looking moth used to be found only along the south coast of Devon, but in recent years has become established on the Isle of Wight and very recently along the southern edge of the New Forest too.
A wet day on Tuesday limited activity on the reserve, but the moth traps run overnight had made some interesting, indeed “Notable” captures, specifically two species of mocha moths. The first is the mochaCyclophora annularia, an attractive species that is classified as “Notable – nationally scarce”.
The larvae feed on field maple, a tree that grows on the reserve both as young planted trees as in many areas but we also have a few mature trees that predate the gravel extraction.
The second species of mocha was even more notable, in fact it is listed in the Red Data Book of rare species. It was a dingy mocha Cyclophora pendularia, whore larvae feed on smaller leaved willow species, usually growing on heathland. Although nationally rare it is known to be present in the Ringwood area, so perhaps finding one at Blashford is not so remarkable.
Neither picture is great thanks to the poor light, but two good species of moths recorded for the reserve.