Sunday, 6 May 2012

Pearls of the wood

Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Boloria euphrosyne
Yesterday afternoon I joined an enthusiastic group who had turned out in damp cloudy conditions at Rewell Wood for Neil Hulme’s second butterfly walk of the year. The target was the Pearl-bordered Fritillary which has a successful population in these woods. Due to the bad weather Neil had hunted for Pearls on Saturday and noted the location of five roosting specimens so that the group would be guaranteed sightings. This is typical of Neil’s attention to detail and hard work on behalf of the Sussex branch of Butterfly Conservation. Dr Dan Hoare, South East Regional Officer for Butterfly Conservation, drove from Hampshire to give us the benefit of his experience working with the Norfolk Estate, who own and manage Rewell Wood. Areas of the wood are being carefully worked to provide the succession of woodland habitat needed for the survival of this population of Pearl-bordered Fritillaries. Neil and Dan are very passionate about the work they do with enlightened landowners to champion the survival of endangered butterflies and moths in our area and we learnt about how they are working towards this goal. We appreciated the cooperation of the Norfolk Estate management who allowed us access to special areas of the wood, and especially to Mark who is responsible for the woodland and who joined us during the tour.
Dr Dan Hoare describing succession woodland clearing
Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Boloria euphrosyne
Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Boloria euphrosyne

Pearl-bordered Fritillary freshly emerged and in the process of pumping up its wings

Neil Hulme talking about the Pearl
14-spot ladybird, Propylea 14-punctata
St. Mark's Fly, Bibio marci, male with fungus on thorax
St. Mark's Fly, Bibio marci, male with fungus on thorax

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