Blessed with fantastic weather the turn out was good – around a dozen people showed up. Peachysteve lead the walk and his local plant knowledge and ID skills are something to behold! There were a sprinkling of knowledgeable plant folk who I’m sure left the walk having seen new plant or fern species. From a lepidopterist’s point of view it was a worthwhile trip becoming familiar with a range of plants that moth larvae use such as Grey Alder, Sneezewort and the goosefoot/orache family.

BIRDS: Kingfisher and Grey Heron on the river with Pied Wagtail, Nutchatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker all heard.

SPIDERS: I took a couple of shots of “interesting” looking arachnids – maybe Bruce or Julian can enlighten us? Their bodies were small pea sized.

LEPIDOPTERA:
Quite a few Red Admirals using the numerous Buddleia bushes on site.
A new one for me was this Coleophora argentula case on a Yarrow seedhead. After taking it home for further study I was surprised to find it was tenanted, the larva is now happily feeding away on the seeds. It will “hibernate” over winter to resume feeding in the spring. The adults emerge in early summer.
A leaf mine found on Downy Birch was Stigmella confusella. The frass (caterpillar poo) line is black and narrow throughout the mine which helps ID this species. The mine is complete and the larva will have exited it a month or two ago and have dropped to the ground to pupate.