2012 marked the end of our second years butterfly and moth surveys at Orchard Farm. My knowledge of this subject is definitely on the transparent side of thin and so I am very grateful to Jim Read for his help through the year. The drought of 2012 was on the whole not good for pollinators as it actually turned out to be very wet! Having said this 22 butterflies and 113 moths were still found on the farm, up from 2011.
The areas of rough grass and pollen and nectar mixes proved to be particularly popular. The flowers are an obvious attraction for their nectar, but a diverse selection of grasses are at least as important as it is surprising, to me at least, how many butterflies and moths lay their eggs on grasses.
Interesting new sightings were the Small Copper, Brown Argus and Marbled White butterflies. Interesting moths were the Leopard, Maple Prominent, Square-spotted Clay and Beautiful Golden Y moths. For this year I am going to see if I can establish some areas of marjoram and scabious; these are good for nectar
which always goes down well. We will also cut the grass back in the woodland grant area over the next month to give the resident scabious a bit of help getting through the thick mat of vegetation.