The latest sightings from Witches Oak Water

The latest news from Vic Bevan

Warm with sunny intervals and a light wind made for perfect conditions for a survey of the butterflies and dragonflies (Odonata) which inhabit the reserve. 21 species of butterfly have been recorded, but not all are on the wing at the same time, however 14 species was a very good total for the day! By far the most numerous were Ringlets with a count of 169 individuals, followed by Small Skipper 98, Gatekeeper 77, and Meadow Brown 70. In all 500 butterflies were counted with, in descending order of frequency, Green-veined White, Essex Skipper, Speckled Wood, Small White, Red Admiral, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Large Skipper and Small Heath. More of an identification challenge (at least for me!) were the faster moving Odonata. Banded Demoiselle and Common Blue Damselfly were the most numerous, followed by Blue-tailed Damselfly, with smaller numbers of the larger species Common Darter, Black-tailed Skimmer and Brown Hawker. Overall a very good count, and evidence that the work that has been done to keep the grassland and meadow areas open is paying dividends.