A lepidopterists weekend

by A warbler a day

This weekend my focus has been mostly on butterflies and moths. Yesterday i went to a bat walk and moth trapping event at Rooksbury Mill run by The Anton River Conservation Association (TARCA). Whilst waiting for the walk I got a glimpse of one of the resident otters. On the walk several Pipistrelles were spotted weaving through the trees and a Daubenton’s Bat was briefly viewed flying over the river. I then spent 2 hours by the moth trap with the rest of the moth enthusiasts. It was great, 21 species, most of them year ticks. 2 of them I had never seen before, a tiny micro called Lathronympha strigana and a macro moth, the Scalloped Hazel. I am waiting for Graeme, the session leader to identify 3 others that we couldn’t at the time.

I spent today enjoying the sunshine around Stockbridge. First I visited the Common Marsh where the warblers, Cetti’s and Reed, stayed annoyingly out of sight. I did managed to spot some damselflies, Large Red and Banded Demoiselles. I then strolled around Stockbridge Down. This was more successful. Even before I left the car park I saw my first Grizzled Skipper of the year. Over the next hour and a half I spotted 11 more species including Small Heath and Small Copper (both fisst for the year) as well a Common Blue, a Comma and numerous Orange tips and Brimstones. The best butterfly though cam just before I got back to the car park. A Fritillary, that I am sure can only be a Pearl-bordered, basking on some nettles. I have haven’t seen one of these since 2004. I also had more luck with warblers getting views, albeit brief ones, of Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat and, eventually, Garden Warbler.

Oh for more weekends like this one!