Tree ID and a Bit More

Thursday, August 17th 2017

Whilst we were ID'ing the trees we were also taking photographs of the trees and other flora and fauna.  Wayfaring trees can be found near the bottom of the middle moor path.  Spring white flowers turn into yellow, red  and black poisonous berries in late summer.  Birds will eat the berries and insects like hoverflies feed on the nectar. The larvae of several moth species feed on the leaves. (I must admit that I am unable to remember any specific moths, but I will pay more attention when ID'ing the moths!)

Wayfaring tree

Buckthorn and Alder Buckthorn are both important for the caterpillars of the Brimstone Butterfly.  Over the years, Foxglove has planted several of these trees and they are to be found around the reserve.  They have grown from very small whips to larger trees.  Interestingly, now we have more leaves to be chewed, we also have more Brimstone Butterflies.

Berries are starting to ripen on the Alder Buckthorn.  Next time I will not photograph the tree tube behind the image that I want!

Alder Buckthorn

Looking at leaves usually involves turning them over to see what is there and to our surprise on a Silver Birch we found another shield bug.  We hoped that it would be called something like tiger shield bug or Tigger shield bug, but no, it's name is Parent Bug.  The next time it moults it will be an adult.

Parent Bug instar

Oak leaves are often covered in galls.  I am still hunting for the gold coloured one, the home of the Silk Button Wasp.  This leaf is covered in Spangle Galls and are the home of the Spangle Gall Wasp.  I think that I have the correct ID for the round galls,  home to the Oyster Gall Wasp.

Spangle galls on oak leaves

And finally a surprise when walking across the newly cut moor, daydreaming of spring next year when we wander around looking for the seedlings of Yellow Rattle, something pink caught my eye and I immediatley thought that someone had dropped some LITTER!  A closer look established no litter, but a flower of Lousewort.


Apologies to the volunteers today for no photos of their work on the blog but the lack of electricity meant that Foxglove were unable to write a blog so I volunteered.  I will look forward to seeing the work done today, tomorrow, providing that the electricity is back on.  Thank you for all your hard work on what has been a hot summer's day.

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