A Very Mothy Birthday

We have been working at Swanwick over the last two days, yesterday we were doing various tidying up jobs in preparation for the 20th birthday celebrations, yes Swanwick Lakes Reserve is twenty years old. The weather has been kind to us and at lunchtime yesterday I had a look around the edge of the Centre Lake, which is looking very good at present with ox-eye daisy and marsh orchids.

beside Centre Lake

beside Centre Lake

The orchids grow mostly in the damper areas close to the lakeshore, the ones at Swanwick are much paler than those at Farlington Marshes.

marsh orchid

marsh orchid

Out in the lake lots of damselflies were paired up and egg-laying.

azure damselfly pair

azure damselfly pair

Whilst on land good numbers of insects were out, including this very bright green soldier fly.

Chloromyia formosa

Chloromyia formosa

A lot of the insects about at the moment seem to favour bright green livery.

thigh beetle (male)

thigh beetle (male)

The preparations of Monday were in aid of the birthday party today, a celebration of the Wildlife Trust’s partnership with NATS with a few speeches, an unveiling and activities. With reference to the last we ran two moth traps over night, I chose a site near the lake.

a good moth trapping site?

a good moth trapping site?

Arriving this morning I found that the answer was that it was good, but not as good as the spot chosen by Rob under the trees. Still we had a good catch in the best conditions so far this year. Highlights were 3 little thorn, 3 poplar hawk-moth,              2 scorched wing, a ghost swift moth and, my personal favourite a mocha.

mocha

mocha

scorched wing

scorched wing

I found two burnet moths as well, although neither were adult moths, one was a larva that had climbed up a grass stalk getting ready to pupate.

burnet larva

burnet larva

The other was one that had already pupated.

burnet pupa

burnet pupa

I also had to take a quick trip down to Farlington to check on the cattle, they were all fine but we had visitors either yesterday or overnight who had tried to make a fire in the Building, thrown lots of the timber around and turned the outside tap on full blast so there was a lake around the back of the store, we are on a metered supply so this will have been costly!

I will end with a rather more welcome lake, that on the Swanwick birthday cake that arrived today for tomorrow’s staff meeting and Birthday Bash II, I just hope there is still some there when I get there after my morning meeting in Southampton!

ducks on a lake on a cake

ducks on a lake on a cake

 

 

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