Monday, July 13, 2009

Odiham Observations

Dull and showery, with a few brief sunny spells - then cleared up for the evening, but with a brisk W wind.

Tony Baines is looking brilliantly at the distribution of Iris in the Odiham area, N Hants. It is clearly well established in that landscape, occurring in colonies which may well be loosely connected. But it is not a true woodland butterfly here, let alone a forest one; rather it is a creature of sallow scrub in diverse situations. These include the Odiham by-pass, a 2 mile long construction ca 30 years old, which is lined with sallows. Turn uphill into Odiham from the roundabout at the by-pass's E end, and you will find Iris males assembling in a sheltered high point (oak and ornamentals) at the driveway entrance of a big house. And there's a lovely assembly point along the Basingstoke Canal, where we saw 3 males in lousy weather. The main breeding ground must be abundant sallows along the edge of a lake - we saw 2 males and 1 female there in 15 sunny mins. And it must along be breeding along the canal. The dense ancient woodland of Odiham Common is rather an irrelevance, incredibly, despite its size. Iris continuously reinvents itself...

1 comment:

dennis said...

very interesting, Tony; it encourages all of us to look in such areas in our regions; for example, someone made a sighting along the grand union canal near tring a few years ago, nowhere near a wood;
for how many years have you been making these sightings?