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Our summer job of registering butterflies is drawing to a close. Each week one or more of us goes up the Mendips to count what butterflies are in the transacts or sections of the walk that we exactly tread . This year has been reasonable although alas we have not spotted the once common chalk hill blue or the always rare Adonis blue. It has been very rewarding however and last week I took this photo of a young Comma feeding. These are really colourful and gorgeous. I also saw an elderly pale one at the same time, and Les Cloutman told me this would have come from the first brood of the season and that the Comma has two broods,unusually for butterflies
Then I visited Chew Valley Lake and was rewarded with seeing 5 great egrets. Huge white stork like birds,
Next week is the last butterfly walk this year. We are always very fortunate indeed to go up with our specialist Pete Smith, now 90 years of age and amazingly tenacious and fit!
This year our blackberries are stunning,large and sweet also
Best Wishes
Lucy White

 

 
Wookey Hole Wildlife Blog for September. Les Cloutman
Hope you all enjoyed the summer break.
Global warming? Possibly but we seem to be getting more of the Hawk Moth family each year. Did you know we have elephants in our village – well OK the Elephant Hawk Moths, and their caterpillars.
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The caterpillars feed on willow herb so are quite likely to turn up in your garden (the above were in my garden this year).
When fully grown the caterpillar will crawl about looking for loose soil to burrow into to change into a chrysalis and wait for the next spring.
If feels threatened it will rear up and pretend to be a snake. Hopefully fooling the bird or other predator into  leaving it  alone.
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Although this summer  presented us with a mixed bag of weather, August was good enough for our local farmers to bring in good harvest.  Unfortunately one creature you won’t in the harvest fields is the Harvest Mouse. Modern harvest methods and machines eliminated them from the fields long ago – we do still have harvest mice locally, although they are now confined to areas of long grass and reed beds.  They are the smallest of our mice and acrobatically climb and nest among the reeds and grasses on the Priddy Mineries reserve.  If you are lucky you will find their perfectly woven cricket ball sized nests. Large fires started by careless people using those horrible ‘instant BBQs’ devastated the Mineries last the spring  and many harvest mice and other creatures  must have died, but the site is large enough, hopefully,  for mice to repopulate the regrown  areas next year.
Les C     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

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