Monday, 24 April 2017

Dukes Off To Strong Start

An afternoon visit (23 April) to Murray Downland Trust's fabulous Heyshott Escarpment reserve was conducted under almost complete cloud cover, with only a couple of five minute bursts of sunshine being just sufficient to encourage a couple of Duke of Burgundy to open their wings.

No other species of butterfly were seen, but I still managed to locate 18 Dukes at rest on low scrub, including two mating pairs. I suspect that they've been out for a while here, as St Mark's Fly was everywhere, and the emergence of this species is closely coordinated with the appearance of the first Dukes.

To find so many, so easily, does suggest that the Duke of Burgundy is going to have another good season.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Murray Downland Trust garden event on Saturday 13 May

All are invited to the Murray Downland Trust garden event on Saturday 13 May, 11 am to 3.30pm, in Philip Jackson's garden at Casters Brook, Mill Lane, Cocking, Midhurst GU29 0HJ.

Besides the sale of plants, demonstrations of bee-keeping and a performance by the Midhurst Band, world renowned sculptor Philip Jackson will be conducting two tours of sculptures in his garden. Refreshments, cake and produce stalls and a raffle will also be on offer.

Proceeds go to the Murray Downland Trust to further the trust's conservation work.

Some photos from last year's event (halfway down among the insect pics):
http://colinknight.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/sculpture-garden-and-rewell-wood.html

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Second work party of 2017

Today we had our second work party of the year. Many have been cancelled due to either ice or wet conditions making work too hazardous. It was good to get stuck in again on the east slope. A shrew popped out of the undergrowth. We gathered around to see it, but it had disappeared into a hole at the base of a tree trunk. It reappeared briefly to tell us what it thought of our gardening efforts. A small birds nest was also found on the ground.