The Whitlingham Bird Report 2020 is available now (click here)

For previous years (2012-2019) see the links on the Whitlingham Bird List page.

THORPE MARSHES: On the lookout for rare caterpillars

 Mid-August 2020

Thorpe Marshes has a good range of wetland plant species, including two that could potentially host rare moth species (Meadow Rue is the foodplant of Marsh Carpet, and Water Dock is the foodplant of the Water Dock Case-bearer, Coleophora hydrolapathella). I decided to pop in one lunchtime and have a look around these plants in the hope of detecting either species. I didn't, but most of the Water Dock isn't accessible and there isn't that much Meadow-rue either. One plant that is doing well is Greater Water Parsnip, a rare species that has been planted here as part of the Water, Mills and Marshes project. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it seems to have taken well.

Whilst there was no luck with the target larvae, I did manage to see a Knotgrass moth caterpillar, and also a new hoverfly, Sphaerophoria rueppelli. A Tortoise Shieldbug and my first Painted Lady of the year were also of note.

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