August workparty – 9th August 2009

We had a really excellent day for the August workparty and so we spent the time just strolling over the site, looking for Dodder and other interesting things. Dodder was very common across compartments 4 & 5 but a little less so than the exceptional year of 2008. Isolated patches also occur across the rest of the site.

Plenty of butterflies were seen, including: Clouded Yellow, Brimstone, Large & Small White, Common Blue (very common), Chalk-hill Blue (1 in compartment 4), Brown Argus, Dingy Skipper (second brood, 1), Small Skipper (1), Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small Heath, Painted Lady (hundreds), Peacock, Small Tortoishell (3-4). Six-spot Burnets were very common, along with Silver-Y moths and a single Dusky Sallow.

During one of our frequent halts I managed to find a few species of micro-snail – Cecilioides acicula & Pupilla muscorum – both species live underground in soft, chalky soils and are no more than a few mm long. Being quite small they are easily overlooked but they are quite easy to find if you carefully scratch around in the side of ant-hills or where rabbits have scraped a patch of bare soil.

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