2022/2023 Sighting Reports
9th August 2023 – A Day on Prees Heath Common
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A Clouded Yellow butterfly was seen on the former WW2 airfield runway on the reserve on Tuesday 4th July 2023 during a guided walk, the first such sighting for several years. It can be distinguished from the Brimstone butterfly, which is also to be seen occasionally on the reserve at this time of the year, as in flight it shows both orange and yellow colours rather than just yellow as is the case with the Brimstone, and is a different size and shape.
It is a migrant species that flies here from continental Europe, with some specimens managing to survive our winters in southern England, so it is possible that the specimen we saw successfully survived the winter in this country. In some years they can arrive on our shores in large numbers, becoming known a Clouded Yellow Years.
Unfortunately I was not able to photograph it, but here is a photograph of a Clouded Yellow taken by Lucy Lewis of one we saw on the reserve on 6th August 2014.'
Gynandromorph Silver-studded Blue
A gynandromorph Silver-studded Blue has been seen at Prees Heath earlier this month (June 2023). It was photographed by Roger Littleover and shows the upperside of one forewing is blue (signifying male) whilst the upperside of the other forewing is brown (signifying female). This is extremely rare and notable.
The first Silver-studded Blues of the season were seen on Monday 5th June, and the following day about 100 were seen roosting in the evening, so we expect numbers to build soon. Please be aware when parking on the side of the track that it is essential that cars, lorries and, if needs be, emergency vehicles can access the two properties at the end of the track. And please do not park in front of the gates. Consideration for others costs nothing.
A male Silver-studded Blue seen on 24th August on one of the restored areas. This appears to be a part of a small second generation, the first time this has been recorded on the reserve, and most likely in part due to the unusual weather this year.
Many silver-studded blue butterflies on the reserve today.
A number of small frogs on the path adjacent to the pond.
A good number of Silver-studded Blue butterflies on the reserve.this morning.
Stonechat (male), Grey Heron on the pond, Song Thrush and a small number of Silver-studded Blue butterflies.
Carrion Crow, Common Buzzard, Dunnock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Linnet, Mistle Thrush, Skylark, Stonechat, Willow Warbler, Common Lizard, Rabbits and a few Silver-studded Blue butterflies.
First Silver-studded Blues of the season recorded.