Over the last few weeks, I have been trained to monitor the Dark Bordered Beauty moth on Strensall Common

Just before the heatwave started, Terry Crawford walked us round the transect once again. Despite the rain, we saw a few nice moths including this Grass Wave.

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Then, two weeks ago (6th July), I tried walking the transect on my own. It was warm, and despite no DBBs, I did see some nice insects.

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This is an area of heath that was burned accidentally a couple of years back and used to be a DBB hotspot.

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This is a Pebble Hook Tip

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Spider webs stretched over the grass.

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Small Heaths were out.

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This is an ichneumonid of some kind.

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You can see the heather regenerating.

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This is the caterpillar of the Emperor Moth

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Also out were large skippers.

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A four spotted chaser

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And the first ringlets. This one has a damaged wing but could fly well.

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This is the last bit of the transect on the YWT reserve. IMG_8905

 

Where I found a Silver Hook.

The next week, on 13th, was also successful. Terry and Penny had seen DBBs the day before, so I was hoping to see some too, with Tallulah.

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This is a Straw Dot.

And then Tallulah spotted what I thought was a DBB. We followed it for about five minutes, flying strongly about waist height around the heath. Then it suddenly hovered frenetically over a grass tussock, and dived into it. When we had caught up, we saw it in copula with a female: a rare sight.

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We quickly saw seven more DBBs. However, they were too active and I couldn’t photograph them. I did however get a Clouded Buff a bit later on.

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And then another male DBB, which after much chasing, did settle in a photogenic position.

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The work goes on. I wonder what the next trip will bring.

 

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