EVENTS

Members Reports and Photos

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SATURDAY 10 AUGUST 2013

DRUMACHON, TIMAHOE

BUTTERFLIES etc.

LEADERS: DAVID NASH, BOB ALDWELL & FRANK SMYTH

Subsequent to Niamh Lennon’s photograph of a skipper in the area in 2011 and confirmation of the presence of the Small Skipper by Frank Smyth and Bob Aldwell in 2012, the field revisited the site again. Despite the vicissitudes of our climate – when the outing was planned it appeared that 2013 would be have a late season – the butterfly was still flying. It was warm day with a modicum of sunshine which was ideal in that the insects were active but not too active and hence easy to view. More than half the insects were captured by net and closely scrutinised before releasing. All proved to be, without doubt, Small Skippers. Most of the search was concentrated about a kilometre north of the road, with a brief sortie southwards.

Other butterflies observed included Peacock, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Small Copper, Common Blue, Speckled Wood and a small number of Meadow Brown and Ringlet. Judging by the large number of Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars, at various instars, seen on Nettles (estimated by Bob Aldwell to exceed 10,000) there is unlikely to be any local decline in this species.

Dragonflies were present in substantial numbers and one member succeeded in netting a Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis for closer inspection. Lepidopteran caterpillars of the Buff-tip Phalera bucephala on Willow and the Knot Grass Acronicta rumicis on Bramble species were identified. The (?) sonorous tones of the Common Grasshopper Omocestus viridulus were widespread and one nymph of a Groundhopper was swept on the cutaway bog. The Hairy Shieldbug and the Tortoise Bug were also noted.

         

         

                  

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