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Walking Around

Thursday, July 16th 2020

When walking around Foxglove it is always worth looking for something that should not be there.  A nettle leaf with a dark mark on it proved to be a beautiful snail.  There are not too many land snails on the reserve, although there are plenty of slugs on damp mornings!

A flash of orange and a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly landed on a Knapweed flower.  Two years ago we saw very few of these butterflies but since then the sightings have increased.

Walking through Plover's Pool, wondering where the sheep were, I realised that I was being watched, by the ram (tup).  Obviously I was a likely intruder so he had to guard his flock.  Once he saw me move away he settled down again.  I was no threat.

Gorse is controlled otherwise it would take over, but unfortunately it soon grows its spiky stems again.  Sitting on one of these stems was a Black-tailed Skimmer.  Usually found in the southern part of the UK it is spreading north and was a new species at Foxglove, recorded last year.

Whilst out on the training area Sophie and Ian spotted some pupa on a fence.  On closer inspection a burnet moth was seen, probably Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet moth.  The pupa are usually found high up on plant stems.  These have gone for high and missed out the plant!  Larva mainly feed on Meadow Vetchling, Red Clover, Sainfoin, and Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil, occasionally Common Bird's-foot Trefoil, White Clover and Bitter Vetch.  Adults nectar (feed) on many flowers and sometimes can be seen on the Rayed Knapweed on the middle moor.

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