Saturday, February 17
10:00 – 12:00
This February’s task day is being moved from Sunday 18th Feb to Sat 17th Feb. We will still meet at the car park at 10am and will be going to the Diamond Jubilee Plantation field to plant the new elm trees. The change is being made to accommodate the local White Letter Hairstreak expert from Butterfly Conservation with whom we have been working. We are sorry if this is inconvenient for any of our regular task day helpers. We will return to our normal Sunday next month. If you are not usually able to come to the Sunday task days, why not join us for the Saturday tree planting?
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!):
Chalk Hill Blue
Some of the other species observed:
6 spotted Burnet Moths
Various other moths
Bees – various
Some of the numerous Plants identified:
Bird’s Foot Trefoil
Old Man’s Beard
First views of Speckled Wood butterflies for the year in shaded avenues of the the reserve. This was one of three we saw today.
It was nice to watch some courting behaviour between these two Peacock butterflies. The male (presumably) continuously prodded at the female with its front legs
First sighting of a Small Tortoiseshell on Lancing Ring today
Seen between clumps of shrubs on the lower slopes, south of the Dewpond