Thursday, 9 September 2010

It's been raining on Feckenham

After recent heavy rain the reserve is showing surface water for the first time this summer. This is good news as our new ponds are full to the brim, in fact the larger dragonfly pond has overflowed.

There is a massive invasion of mosquito larva in the dipping pond. The surface is virtually covered; there must be millions. I just hope that I am not around the day they all hatch!

Today I photographed this kestrel with it's catch. It was on the wires and flew down very leisurely onto something in the ct meadow. It 'mantled' and as I got nearer it flew up into the oak with what I could see was a very big frog. I managed to watch it for about ten minutes devouring the prey.

Not many butterflies about at the moment but our first painted lady today and a couple of red admirals. Plenty of emperor dragonfly over the main pool and willow warblers still around. The cattle are making good headway with grazing the cut meadows and the new fresh lush growth looks excellent.Best wishes

Paul, Feckenham Wylde Moor

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Mothing at Upton Warren

We caught more moths at Upton Warren at the end of July - & got some very pretty photos.

In summary nearly 800 moths trapped of about 120 species using seven 125mv and one 15w actinic skinner. Some records are still to come in and some species to be confirmed. Eleven moths so far were new for the site: 642 Batia unitella: 758 Recurvaria leucatella: 765 Teleiodes vulgella: 796 Aroga velocella: 1155 Epinotia brunnichana: 1637 Oak Eggar Lasiocampa quercus: 1754 The Phoenix Eulithis prunata: 1874 Dingy Shell Euchoeca nebulata: 1997 Sallow Kitten Furcula furcula: 2049 Buff Footman Eilema depressa: 2111 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing Noctua janthe.

The area in the Education Reserve around the Upton (Rabbit) 'Warren' is turning out to be particularly interesting. This is where 796 Aroga velocella was collected which we think has only previously been recorded in Worcestershire from Hartlebury Common: It is a moorland and heathland species. Its larva feed in a silken gallery at the BASE: the end nearest the body of a leg, hair or other appendage.');" onmouseout="return nd();">base of sheeps' sorrel (Rumex acetosella). We have looked at this area in the daytime and collected further micros which are new for the reserve they are 1273 Dichrorampha petiverella: 776 Teleiopsis diffinis and 1219 Lathronympha strigana.

As part of the wider Lepodoptera project I have been monitoring butterflies and am happy to report this year we were blessed with good numbers of White-letter Hairstreaks on the Wych Elms along the Salwarp on the reserve.


John, Upton Warren

Photos: oak eggar, sallow kitten, white letter hairstreak