12 members congregated in the Maidenhead Thicket CP for a 10.30am start. It was good to see so many well known faces. The weather was a bit mixed and in need of more sun. Brian Clews passed around the nightly moth catch for inspection. It was a Pale Prominent (one of the more interesting moths) plus a Box-tree Moth (another introduction from the Far East) which many of you may have found destroying your box hedges. The lack of sun did keep the butterflies mostly hidden but it was overall a satisfying morning with some great views nectaring on bramble flowers, a total of 11 different species spotted and more male Silver-washed Fritillary glimpsed. Still no Hairsreaks or the first White Admiral though. White Admiral numbers are definitely down from 20 years ago. Gatekeepers are hatching now but we've not seen any yet. A Scarlet Tiger Moth was spotted, a real jem, sitting folded on bracken. The micro Spindle-tree Ermine moths are just starting to hatch from their pupal cases in quantity. The caterpillars have already stripped the Spindle Trees! We also spotted a rose chafer beetle. Worth a walk or two in fine weather. You never know your luck!
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