16 members joined leader Geoff on one of the hottest mornings of the year for this rather misnamed field meeting as, from the car park, we immediately crossed the road to explore Fawley Inclosure.
|Silver-studded Blues CR|
Within a few yards, all 3 heathers, Bell Heather, Cross-leaved Heath and Ling were attracting many Silver-studded Blue butterflies both male and female and several mating pairs were spotted. Less numerous were Gatekeeper, Grayling, Large White and Small Heath with a Silver Y moth, Golden-ringed Dragonfly and innumerable grasshoppers also seen.
|Lady Fern DP|
Moving on, we passed the site of a scheduled ancient monument known as a Bowl Barrow but were unable to pinpoint its exact location. A Sparrowhawk flew above the trees and Goldfinches flitted around. As we moved into the conifer plantation a Chaffinch was spotted. By this time somewhat spread out, the botanists identified Sheep Sorrell, Wood Sage and Lady Fern.
|Oak Eggar moth (Lasiocampa quercus) CR|
Around the edge of an area of mire were some good specimens of Round-leaved and Oblong-leaved Sundew along with Bog Asphodel, White Beak-sedge, Cotton Grass and Pale Butterwort. Kestrel and Buzzard were also spotted.
Cutting back through the plantation, we risked life and limb on a brief detour across the busy A326 Fawley Road to Forest Front Nature Reserve for the disabled. By the pond, much welcome shade and seating provided an ideal location for an overdue refreshment break.
|Nettle Weevil RC|
An Emperor Dragonfly patrolled around the fine stand of Reedmace but although movement could be seen, no birds or fish were identified. White Water-lily flowered in the pond and on a short walk around the reserve a good variety of plants were evident, namely Tufted Vetch, Rosebay Willowherb, Lesser Stitchwort, Common Knapweed, Hogweed, Ladies’ Bedstraw and Corky-fruited Water Dropwort. Small Copper, Skipper and Speckled Wood butterflies and a Blackcap were also seen. Richard collected a small moth called Garden Grass Veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella) and Maureen picked up a striking blue Nettle Weevil.
|Small Red Damselflies CR|
|Meadow Pipit CR|
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