Grammar`s Common – 11th June
Four members met at the Common for this afternoon meeting. Our thanks to Mr Taylor for inviting us to carry out survey work here. The weather was pleasant enough, but the sun was rather intermittent. The first half of the visit was accompanied by the vibrations from the bass-line at the Isle of Wight Festival, many miles and a whole down’s width away… a very unreal experience.
We took the opportunity to look at a range of habitats on the common from woodland, to the more open sandier rides. For many of us the most attractive find, although not unexpected, were the Green Tiger Beetles (Cicindela campestris) . These were flying over and scurrying across the sandier rides on the common, and seemed to be present in healthy numbers. Seven other beetles and a number of leaf mines were observed. A wide range of day flying moths were identified, although the Cream-spot Tiger (Arctia villica), found by David Biggs during the morning recce, was not seen again during the meeting proper. Among the other highlights were the Small Purple-barred (Phytometra viridaria), Brown Silver Lines, (Petrophora chlorosata) and a Cream Wave (Scopula floslactata), the last two seen in the more wooded areas of the common.
On more open areas of the common, Straw Dot (Rivula sericealis), Cinnabar(Tyria jacobaeae) moths and a Mother Shipton (Callistege mi) were among the more interesting species. No unusual butterflies were seen, although both Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) and Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) were seen, as well as the first Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) of the season for many of us.