Saturday, August 17, 2013

Iris in Dorset

Our thanks to Roger Smith (87 and bright as a button) and his intrepid friends for the following info from Dorset.

There seems to be a population around Minterne Magna, north of Cerne Abbas.  Singletons have been seen three years running in Minterne Magna gardens, including two together on Aug 2nd.  There are no large woods in this area, but a matrix of copses and wood belts.  Sallow consists almost exclusively of narrow-leaved varieties.

On July 17th this year one male was seen at Deadmoor Common, near to where one was seen in 2009.  Again, the sallow resource consists almost exclusively of small-leaved narrow-leaved sallows (Salix cinerea).

In addition, the butterfly has been seen for the last three years near Newtown in Cranborne Chase, with a max of 10 on a day in mid July this year.  This is despite loss of sallows due to forestry work.  

Finally, one was seen almost in Hampshire near Alderholt on 8th Aug.

Dorset continues to establish its Purple credentials.

1 comment:

Piers said...

Do you suppose that the Chase Woods colony could be part of one of the known South Wilts populations?

'Singletons' have been, historically, sighted (by casual observers) at a number of localities between the two areas, although there is a ridge of downland separating the two locations (in Dorset and Wilts) where the greatest concentration of individuals are seen.

As the crow flies (as the iris flies?), the distance between the near South Wilts population and Chase Woods is not great.

There are areas, between the two supposed colonies, where suitable sallow grows in abundance; as well as a number of woods and smaller copses which, I suspect, receive little attention during the flight season.