Sunday, 12 July 2015

Marbled White - Clough Wood update

I had a call from Alan Stewardson yesterday who had visited Clough Wood and seen at least three but possibly five Marbled White. Although the conditions were not ideal this morning with a heavily overcast sky I went back and saw  four Marbled White in the air at the same time so four or five looks like the current estimate.

Clearly this is not a wandering individual and there are I think two possible explanations for this number at Clough Wood. Either they bred here last year and these are the off-spring or they have been deliberately released in the area.
There is no way of knowing which explanation is correct but it will be interesting to see what happens in the remaining flight period this year and if the butterfly occurs again next year.

In common with most people with an interest in wildlife I have mixed views on re-introductions. Some such as the White-tailed Eagles in Scotland and Red Kites have been highly successful in reintroducing birds to areas where they formerly bred but I am against the reintroduction of none native species. Extending the breeding range of our native butterflies is somewhere in-between. It would be great to have the Marbled White as a local breeding butterfly but a deliberate reintroduction somehow diminishes the record. I dare say that if they are still there in a few years time I won't worry too much about how they arrived!
Marbled White

2 comments:

  1. Lovely shot Andy, but also very interesting.

    A few years ago I managed a record photo of a swallowtail on the Peter Fidler reserve, near Bolsover. A local man had indeed released several.

    Might have to make a trip over to Clough wood as I'd quite like to see these.

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  2. It's certainly a good opportunity to see them locally Martin. They are in the open area which is dissected by the off road track. My gut feeling is that they have been released although I've never had reason to suspect anything like this happening locally before. As I noted above it will be interesting to see what happens with the numbers

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