The Stunning, The Dull & The Unexpected

Well as ever its been a very busy week so I shall try to keep it brief on the words and heavy on the pictures.

The highlight of the week came in the form of a trip to the Isle of Wight on Friday evening to help Jamie (previous Farlington Reserves Officer) to survey for an extremely rare moth; the Reddish buff. It involved sitting out with several moth traps, until the small hours, waiting for the moth to appear. As expected it turned up around 11.30pm, then later a second. It was great to see the extremely rare moth that only exists on the Isle of Wight and we even had a couple of Barn owl fly-bys as a bonus. The next day we returned to check the traps that had been left to run overnight. Getting to see the reserve in the daylight was great and we spotted Green hairstreak & Grizzled skipper butterflies, Mother shipton moth and heard two Nightingale.

Reddish buff moth

Reddish buff moth – More dull than stunning

Having a couple of hours before the ferry back to the mainland we thought we would see if we could catch a glimpse of the Glanville fritillary (another Isle of Wight speciality). It didn’t take long to find it and it was in great numbers being at the high point in its flight season. It wasn’t only Glanvilles on the site, there was also Wall lizards and Hummingbird hawk-moths in attendance, which was a fantastic finale to the Island trip.

Glanville Fritillary

Glanville Fritillary – more stunning than dull

Hummingbird Hawkmoth

Hummingbird Hawk-moth

Yesterday was the 8th annual Roydon Woods Woodfair. It was well attended by all sorts of woodland craft, local produce and art stalls. Over 1,500 people came to the event and took in the relaxed atmosphere helped along by buckets of sunshine.

Roydon Woodfair

Roydon Woodfair

Chainsaw Carving at the Woodfair

Chainsaw Carving at the Woodfair

Today we were joined by the Beechcroft team at Farlington. Our task was to move some animals in the morning followed by a spot of fencing in the afternoon. Before getting the tools out Steve noticed a Hedgehog curled up in a ball next to the hut door. He didn’t look in great shape so one of our volunteers kindly took him to an wildlife hospital for a check up. It was a shame the little guy wasn’t well but to see one was a personal high point as I’ve not seen an (alive) Hedgehog for a decade or so. Hopefully it will make a full recovery and be back on the marsh in no time.

Hedgehog

Hedgehog

The second surprise of the day came in the form of a Barn owl, sat on a post in the Slip field. It appeared as if it was roosted up in a hollow, down from the seawall. After a good look at it and after getting a little closer we discovered it was wearing falconry jesses, so was clearly an escaped captive bird. It hung around for half an hour or so, showing off some aerial manoeuvres and then shot off over the a27.

Farlington Barn Owl

Farlington Barn Owl – certainly unexpected

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