Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Bath Nats at Iford Manor Butterfly Day, 7th July 2013

 Bath Nats members were present in varied guises in support of the annual Butterfly Day in the idyllic setting of Iford Manor on a hot and sunny summer’s day, which attracted numerous families and other visitors, notwithstanding the distraction, amongst other things, of the Wimbledon Men’s Singles Final in which a certain Scotsman was ‘making history’. Alan and Marion Rayner set up and attended the Bath Nats stand itself, and other members attended the RSPB and Butterfly Conservation stands. The latter included a magnificent display of moths caught in Terry Doman’s trap overnight, and identified with the assistance of Richard Pooley. Alan Rayner led two guided walks for the public, each lasting about 45 minutes. ‘Walk 1’ in the ‘Butterfly Field’ took us via a shady path lined by large numbers of ‘Bath Asparagus’ plants – where Alan surprised himself by managing to catch and show how to identify a ‘tree bumblebee’ (first recorded in Britain in 2001 and now very common) – into wonderfully species-rich calcareous grassland. Here there was plentiful quaking grass along with many pyramidal orchids and woolly thistles, amongst which marbled whites, meadow browns and small skippers were the most frequent butterflies seen. ‘Walk 2’ in the ‘Wild Flower Field’, accompanied by Terry Doman,brought additional sightings along the way of red admiral, bee orchids, yellow wort and red-tailed bumble bees. 

Alan Rayner

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