Saturday, 1 August 2015

Aug 1st Mousehold Heath

I'm with Will for a butterfly survey at Mousehold Heath. It was a successful day with 54 individual butterflies and 12 species recorded. Most of the butterflies were large white butterfly, but meadow brown and holly blue were also quite numerous today. The butterflies were also very photogenic this afternoon and I managed to get at least one photo of nearly every species we came across (all apart from the white butterflies). Here's what we found...
Large Skipper
Holly Blue
Holly Blue (underside)
Blood-vein Moth
Speckled Wood
Meadow Brown
Small Copper
Common Blue
Speckled Bush-cricket

Mousehold in bloom
 While we walked along the transit route, I couldn't help but admire the display of heather that is now in bloom and providing a valuable nectar source for many species of insect, such as bees and butterflies. This display is only possible thanks to Will and a team of volunteers that clear areas of bracken and gorse to allow the heather to grow without being suffocated by these plants. Without this work, Mousehold will become a woodland and not a heath and we will lose this beautiful display and the creatures that depend on them. That would be disasterous! The heather in this display mostly consists of ling or common heather, which is a subtle lilac colour and bell heather, which is bright pink.
Ling or Common Heather
Bell Heather
Rowan Tree with berries

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