Excellent meadow walk – orange tails, diamond backs and adder’s tongues

Meadow surveyors at work!

We had an excellent meadow walk and survey on Sunday  23 June led by Rupert Higgins of Wessex Ecologicla Consultancy, who wrote the Five Year Plan we currently use to manage Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve. We saw everything from micro-moths and orange-tailed bumble bees, via hairy sedge to a diamondback moth, a migrant from North Africa or the Mediterranean. Unfortunately we saw very few butterflies, mainly meadow browns. Probably it was too cloudy for other species that were in evidence the following day, which was sunny.

Meadow brown butterfly

Our find of the day was the adder’s tongue fern, which usually has only one leaf plus a single tall spike bearing the spores. This uncommon fern is said to be a good indicator species of ancient meadows.

Adder’s-tongue fern

We have quite a few more interesting photos to show, so we’ll post them here over the next few days.

(Photos by Isabel Ryan and Paul Hulbert)

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