The most visible wildlife on the site this month are butterflies. All species of “whites” have been very numerous. We are also seeing Silver-Washed Fritillaries in greater numbers.
The movie clip shows a frenzy of whites on a mud puddle.
The Silver Washed Fritillary (shown below) gives the volunteer group some enjoyable challenges.
The adults that can be viewed now come down from the tree canopy to feed on bramble flowers. Those same brambles, if left unchecked, would crowd out the Common Dog-violet that is the food plant of the caterpillars. A lot of our work in recent weeks has been in selective bramble control where the violets are growing. It is just another confirmation of the need to maintain a mosaic of habitat within the reserve.
The Fritillaries are most frequently seen between the Ashlawn and Pytchley Road bridges.