Thursday, 9 July 2015

Bath Nats at Iford Manor Butterfly Day, 5th July 2015

The Bath Nats display boards

The day started bright, still and warm, but some showers developed during the afternoon of this annual event in which Bath Nats members participate. Alan and Marion Rayner set up and attended the Bath Nats stand. Alan led two guided walks for the public. ‘Walk 1’ took a group of around 20 people along a shady path, banked by shade-tolerant grasses (wood false-brome and hairy-brome) and abundant Bath asparagus out into colourful species-rich calcareous grassland with plentiful pyramidal orchids and woolly thistles. Here, marbled whites, meadow browns, ringlets and small skippers were the most frequent butterflies seen, some of which were briefly caught and examined in Alan’s butterfly net – much to the delight of children present – before being released. A patch of nettles was covered in small tortoiseshell caterpillars. Returning back along the woodland path, two beautiful scarlet tiger moths attracted our admiration. ‘Walk 2’ in the ‘Wild Flower Field’, with a small but enthusiastic group was curtailed by rain, but brought additional sightings of  yellow wort, as well as large groups of pyramidal orchids.
 Alan Rayner relaxing between guided walks and public engagement
Alan Rayner

Photographs by Marion Rayner:

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