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).
Brimstone (with bee!) Photo: Gert Corfield
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;
Green veined White
Photo Clive Turner
The list of moths shown over the two days were;
Large Yellow Underwing
Marbled Orchard Tortrix
Bramble Shoot Moth
Large Yellow Underwing
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
Small Dotted Buff
Large Emerald ( held by Hattie! ), photo : Gert Corfield
Straw Underwing: photo Gert Corfield