24 May, 2015

Moth survey in the Malverns

I joined Tony Simpson and Jenny Palmer back on Thursday for a moth survey in the Malvern Hills. Jenny has the enviable job of conservation officer within the hills, so the records we collected of any notable species during the survey would go towards influencing future management across the Malvern reserves. We were particularly eager to reaffirm the presence of Pyrausta cingulata, a colourful chalk grassland species with a very restricted distribution in the Midlands.

Despite a hefty search across the steep slopes we didn't manage to find our target species - although it may have been slightly too early in the season. However, it's hard to complain with the scenery so stunning and especially when the most abundant moth was Thisanotia chrysonuchella - a subtly patterned little scarcity which has always managed to evade me further down south.

A generous supporting cast of invertebrates and birds including a pristine Speckled Yellow, several Tree Pipits, a Cuckoo and Red Kite rounded off a great day in the Malvern Hills - my last chance to get over there for a while as I headed back home for the summer this afternoon.

Speckled Yellow

Glyphipterix simpliciella

Mompha conturbatella larva within the spun leaves of Willowherb - a very obvious leafmine at this time of year.

Orange Tip

Portevinia maculata, the aptly named 'Ramsons Hoverfly' can be easy to find around its foodplant at the moment.

Cionus hortulanus - very common on all Figwort plants.

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