Butterfly Walk – Sunday 8th August 2010

Report from Adrienne Stevenson;

Last Sunday, a small group enjoyed a most enjoyable and informative walk around the Ring led by Brianne Reeves. After a rather grey start to the day, (when we began to wonder just how many butterflies we would see), the clouds parted and we were blessed with blue skies, bright sunshine and the warmth that finally encouraged numerous butterflies to emerge from their hiding places. Brianne is such an engaging guide and her enthusiasm and knowledge had us all spellbound and even the young children amongst the group were engaged throughout the walk. We would like to thank Brianne so much for agreeing to give up a Sunday morning to take us round.

So what did we see? Well, there were numerous small blue butterflies – Chalk Hill Blue, Common Blue and Holly Blue and by the end of the walk we were even getting quite good at working out which were which! We saw Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, and learnt how the Wall Brown often likes to land on paths. There were Small Heath Butterflies which we discovered flop to one side when resting! I will add a list of the varieties at the end, but one lovely discovery was The Silver-washed Fritillary – very beautiful and which we understand is not so frequently seen.

However, Brianne’s walks are not just confined to butterflies and we discovered the names of the numerous plants around the Reserve. We found newly emerged ladybirds that most of us confessed we would have walked straight past! Whilst amid all this our attention was drawn to the call of a Kestrel, Greenfinch or the Chiffchaff.

All in all we had a most absorbing time, left all our troubles behind and immersed ourselves completely in the wonder and beauty of our beautiful hill. Thank you once again Brianne, it couldn’t have been better!

List of Butterfly species observed (I hope I have them all!):

Common Blue
Meadow Brown
Small White
Chalk Hill Blue
Small Skipper
Small Heath
Speckled Wood
Silver-washed Fritillary
Wall Brown
Large White
Red Admiral
Small tortoiseshell

Some of the other species observed:

6 spotted Burnet Moths
Various other moths
Bees – various

Some of the numerous Plants identified:

Lesser Burdock
Wild Parsnip
Red Bartsia
Wild Carrot
Hardhead Knapweed
St John’sWort
Greater Knapweed
Hemp Agrimony
Bird’s Foot Trefoil

Wild Basil
Yellow Nipplewort
Yellow Rattle
Lady’s Bedstraw
Pink Clover
Hemp Agrimony
Common Bedstraw
Wayfarer Tree
Purple Loosestrife
Enchanter’s Nightshade
Old Man’s Beard
Black Bryony
Common Dodder
Wild Mignonette
Wild Thyme
White Knapweed
Wall Lettuce
Bladder Campion
Blue Scabious
Dog Rose
Tufted Vetch
Rest Harrow
Spear Thistle
Creeping Thistle
Rosebay Willowherb
Hop Trefoil
Bristly Ox-tongue
Hedge Woundwort


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