Butterfly Fest

Blog post by Gert Corfield
In July and August the farm hosted two Butterfly walks with added moths!
On both days a moth trap was set in the orchard with a sample of moths collected and kept cool for the event. The moths were then shown to attendees before being released safe and sound back into the orchard. This added an extra dimension to the day and demonstrated the diversity of the wildlife present on the farm.
The day in July threatened rain a few days before but turned out dry, although cool and windy. Not ideal for looking for Butterflies, but some nice species were found including Marbled Whites and Large, Small and Essex Skippers plus plenty of Meadow Brown and Ringlet! The moths caught the night before where over 150 in number with some interesting species which were shown to all and included Early Thorn, Beautiful hook-tip, Yellow Tail and Large Emerald. A successful day despite the conditions.
In August the day was more promising with warm sun and still conditions. As it turned out it was almost too warm and ironically the conditions the night before were less than ideal with clear and cool temperatures. The moth catch was much lower but again some interesting species were collected – several Drinker moths, a few Magpie and the cumbersomely named Lesser Broad-bordered yellow Underwing!
The Butterflies showed much better. Unfortunately the male Brown Hairstreak found an hour before the event did not re appear – still early in the season for this rare Butterfly. However 19 other species were found which was superb! Several Painted Ladies feeding on Knapweed, the 3 Skippers, a second brood bright yellow Brimstone and Marbled Whites were highlights. Again another satisfyingly enjoyable day. To top it off, one of the party managed to photograph a Spotted Flycatcher which must have been intrigued by the merry band of butterfly chasers! (With thanks to Nigel Hallett for use of photo).
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Brimstone (with bee!)             Photo: Gert Corfield
IMG_0752  Spotted Flycatcher, photo Nigel Hallett
One of the young members of the party recorded a video blog of the day, the link to which is below – excellent work!
Finally a total of £250 was raised over both events for Butterfly Conservation. Please consider joining here;
The full list of Butterflies encountered was;
Large White
Small White
Green veined White
Marbled White
Common Blue
Holly Blue
Meadow Brown
Ringlet
Gatekeeper
Large Skipper
Small Skipper
Essex Skipper
Painted Lady
Brimstone
Red Admiral
Peacock
Speckled Wood
Comma
Small Tortoiseshell
Brown Hairstreak
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Photo  Clive Turner
The list of moths shown over the two days were;
9th July
Early Thorn
Large Emerald
Willow Beauty
Large Yellow Underwing
Poplar Grey
Small Magpie
Marbled Orchard Tortrix
Barred Straw
Dark Arches
Bramble Shoot Moth
Lackey
Barred Yellow
Yellow Tail
Beautiful hook-tip
Marbled Minor
Common Footman
Smoky Wainscot
Light Arches
Satin Wave
Riband Wave
6th August
Drinker
Magpie
Smoky Wainscot
Willow Beauty
Straw Underwing
Dark Arches
Common Rustic
Large Yellow Underwing
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
Straw Dot
Dingy Footman
Yellow Tail
Small Dotted Buff
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Large Emerald ( held by Hattie! ),  photo : Gert Corfield
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Straw Underwing: photo Gert Corfield