This beautiful Herald moth ( Scoliopteryx libatrix) was spotted under some undergrowth at Paradise nature reserve, perhaps not totally surprising seeing as the larvae feed on willow (Salix ) and poplar (Populus). Both plentiful in and around the reserve. This moth is a member of the family Noctuidae and overwinters as an adult. It can therefore be one of the last moth species to be seen before winter and then one of the first to be spotted in the spring. They have also been recorded overwintering together in groups, if a good hibernation site is found with suitable conditions they will sensibly share!
It’s always worth having a look under leaves, especially at this time of year. This little cluster of Birch Shield bug eggs were found under an oak leaf. Looking at them under a microscope revealed their very amusing markings.
Moth enthusiasts meet regularly at Logan’s Meadow reserve in Chesterton to monitor what moth species are around especially since the new reed bed was planted on the site. Happily a Webb’s Wainscott moth was trapped (and released unharmed!) at this month’s session. It is particularly exciting to find this moth here as nationally it’s conservation status is rare. The moth’s larvae feed internally in the stems of mainly Yellow Flag Iris ( Iris pseudacorus) and Reed Mace ( Typha spp. ).
If you are interested in getting involved with the Moth surveying please email: Parks@cambridge.gov.uk
The barbecue at Byron’s Pool was unfortunately vandalised this summer. Rather than just excepting that this was the end of the road for the bits of slab and brick the conservation volunteers quickly constructed a hibernaculum for any passing amphibians and reptiles needing a good over-wintering spot. Conservation Volunteers I salute you!
Even with the lack of rain and punishing high temperatures the City Council pictorial meadows are still managing to bring interest and colour. These meadows are dotted about the city and provide not only a vital refuge, nectar, pollen and seed source but also help to connect our wildlife areas. To find your nearest one see the City Council website-pictorial meadows or find images at #cammeadows.
This image was taken at Ditton fields recreational ground.