I am a Devon based wildlife artist. If you would like to view more artwork or to check availability of prints go to: www.mikehugheswildlifeart.co.uk. As we head into the summer months of June and July the British Countryside is literally buzzing with life. Insects fill the air and most of our native wildlife is busily collecting food to feed this year’s offspring. With its huge variety of habitat there is plenty to see and do in the Devon countryside. By the begining of summer most of our native butterflies have emerged. Devon, due to its size and diversity, has nearly two-thirds of British butterflies living within its boundaries, including a number of rare species such as the High Brown Fritillary and the Silverstudded Blue. Throughout June the more common species such as Comma, Peacock, Orange-tip, Wall and Meadow Brown can all be seen searching for nectar. These species are joined by common migrant butterflies such as the Painted Lady and Red Admiral. Painted Ladies travel up from North Africa every year and in the summer of 2009 a ‘mass migration’ took place with millions of them arriving on our shores to breed. The Red Admiral butterfly migrates from continental Europe, with its velvety dark wings it is unmistakeable. In recent years a small number have begun overwintering in southern parts of the UK meaning that it can now be considered a resident species. Red Admiral
of the most common species and easiest to identiify is the Elephant Hawk moth. The adult moths are a striking pink and green combination and can be spotted throughout June and July feeding on plants such as honeysuckle. Elephant Hawk moths unusual name comes from its caterpillar, which has a trunk like spike at one end. As July approaches and the weather, hopefully, warms up, more dragonflies begin to appear. The dragonfly will have
Elephant Hawkmoth The national annual survey of our native butterflies, the Big Butterfly Count, has taking place since 2010 and last year involved 34,000 people. This year it runs from 14th July until 5th August and is a real opportunity to see how healthy our butterfly population is. For more infomation visit www.bigbutterflycount.org. As well as butterflies, their nightime counterpart, moths, are starting to emerge. There are over 600 species of moth recorded in Devon. Of these, it is probably the Hawkmoths which are the most noticeable, being the largest and most striking of the species. There are nine resident Hawkmoths in the British Isles and a further 8 or 9 migrants. One
Dates for the Diary Things to do in the South Devon Countryside Inexperienced Birdwatchers Walk at Venford Reservoir Saturday 16th June 10am-1pm A beautiful mornings walk on the edge of Dartmoor looking over the Dart valley. We hope to Stonechats, Wheatears, Whitethroats, Skylarks and Cuckoo. Donation to the RSPB Team would be welcomed Call 01626 821344 for details
Soar Mill Seeds Farm Tour Sunday 17 June 2pm 2 hour guided walk around Southdown Farm, Malborough, Kingsbridge. The farm is managed to be a fantastic area for birds and also is a producer of wild bird seed. Call: 01548 560947 for details
Emperor Dragonfly spent up to three years underwater in its larval stage, where it would have been a ferocious predator. Unlike most other winged insects, dragonflies don’t have a pupal stage, so the larva would have climbed out of the water for a final moult. At this point the recently emerged adults are weak and soft and vunerable to predation. Close examination of reeds and grasses around ponds can occasionally reveal the remains of the shed skin called the exuviae.
Medicine Makers, Yealmpton Wednesday 27 June 9.30am-12.30pm Wild medicine making event with herbalist Sara Hills. Adults £20, small children free. Booking essential , call 01752 872960, or email: email@example.com for details Rockpool Ramble, Wembury Saturday 7th july 2.30pm - 4pm No need to book just turn up at Wembury Marine Centre. For more information and cost visit www.wemburymarinecentre.org
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