Birds and Insects
Sunday, September 9th 2018
Last week the bird ringers visited the Crater. We watched the sun rise but it made little difference to the temperature and everyone was well wrapped up.
Nearly 100 birds were ringed, most of them were Meadow Pipits.
On 'Top of the World' you can look down to the wetland of Foxglove.
Unfortunately the weather has not been kind to allow us to go back to the Crater. It needs to be still and dry.
When the sun does come out the temperature rises and the butterfliles come out to feed. In the centre of the reserve they can be found on Hemp Agrimony. Out on the moor Water Mint is in flower and we counted seven Small Tortoiseshells and two Painted Lady butterlies in one small area.
Painted Lady Butterflies are migrants, usually only visiting us during a very warm summer.
Small Tortoiseshells have done very well this year after a poor one last year, when we saw only one or two.
Kidney Spot Ladybirds live on Ash trees at Kidney Spot Corner. Just to confuse us they have been seen on Willow near the Field Centre. We were really pleased to find them back at Kidney Spot Corner but then noticed that one was rather small. Photographs were taken and the ID was confirmed that it was a Heather Ladybird. Only two sightings have been recorded once in 2013 and again in 2014. Their habitats do include Heather, which is their host plant, and conifers. They hibernate in bark crevices.
Above the back door of the Field Centre, a large, light coloured moth was sitting quite peacefully. We were able to collect it and ID it as a Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing. It sat quietly whilst its photograph was taken before flying off showing off its bright yellow underwings! This moth emerges in July and aestivates, which means that it lies dormant. It becomes active in August and September.
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