Thursday, 23 June 2011

Date for your diary

On Sunday 10th July, there will be a guided, leisurely walk around the reserve, starting at 1.00pm and finishing around 4.00pm and led by Dougy Wright. He'll be on hand to show you dragonflies, butterflies, slow worms and anything else which happens to cross your path. Bring binoculars and cameras, wear wellies or stout boots. If the weather is unfavourable, i.e. cool/wet, the event will be cancelled. If in doubt, call Dougy on 07886 310509 before setting out.

Meet in the car-park, grid ref SW 694 152. To get there follow the A3083 Helston to Lizard road. Three kms after the turn-off to Mullion Cove, look for a sign for "Wild Camping". Turn right here and follow the lane straight on, past the smallholding, and keep going until you arrive in the farmyard. Please drive slowly along the lane.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Guest photographer

Steve Rogers paid a visit to the reserve last week and has kindly sent me these photos. Those of you who follow Steve's blog (here) will be aware of the very high standard he maintains and I've very grateful to him for allowing me to share these with you.

Female Keeled Skimmer

Immature male Keeled Skimmer

Common Frog

Fragrant and Heath Spotted Orchids

Slender St John's Wort

Yesterday's posers

Yesterday's warm sunshine persuaded a few insects to wait patiently whilst I took their pictures:

Male Clouded Buff moth. Most of the recent Cornish records have come from the Lizard peninsula.

Female Clouded Buff, not often seen

Marsh Fritillary

Female Common Darter dragonfly

Male Beautiful Demoiselle damselfly

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Marsh Fritillaries

I had a voicemail message from Dougy this afternoon to let me know that he and Sarah had just counted six Marsh Fritillaries at the farm. First discovered in 2003, this is a small colony of this Red Data Book species, with a peak count of 18 butterflies in 2004. After another good season two years later, only two were seen in 2007. We then had two blank years, coinciding with poor weather during their flight period and we assumed we had lost them. Two more surprisingly appeared last year but again the weather put paid to any further sightings. So today's report is great news! Dougy has sent these photos through, along with a close-up of a Red-veined Darter.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Lazy, hazy day(s) of summer

A glorious, hot day at the farm today brought out hundreds of dragonflies over the ponds. We counted eight species, including Red-veined Darter and Keeled Skimmer. The most abundant were Black-tailed Skimmer, Four-spotted Chaser and Common Blue Damselfly (Dougy's photos of the first two below). I got no shots of them (they're too fast for me) so I'll settle for a couple of orchids, a common bird, a rare moth and two showy individuals from the trap the other morning, which contained 215 moths of 49 species.

Four-spotted Chaser

Black-tailed Skimmer

Heath Spotted Orchid

Fragrant Orchid

Meadow Pipit

Small Grass Emerald, our rarest resident moth. This is a nationally scarce and declining species, with very few recent records outside its strongholds on the Lizard peninsula and the New Forest.

Gold Spot

Elephant Hawk-moth