Friday, 9 October 2015

Getting the blues - more than once!

It's turning in to an astonishing year for Clifden Nonpareil (= Blue Underwing) in Berkshire. In the last week or so another has been reported from Newbury, Paul Black has now found two at Snelsmore Common, while Barry Murrer has also notched up two on separate occasions in his garden near Thatcham!

The question is whether they are migrants or breeding. They are thought to be breeding in parts of Hampshire and Wiltshire, and given the number that have been reported in Berkshire now it looks like local breeding is a distinct possibility. It will certainly be worth having a close look at Aspen trees next summer for the caterpillars.

Barry Murrer's second Clifden Nonpareil from Thatcham, Berkshire:


  1. Given the scarcity of aspen in some of its recently established populations, fraxini must surely be feeding on a different food-plant, such as poplar? This may explain the huge increase in sightings across S. England.

  2. I wish someone would tell it that there's no scarcity of aspen just a little bit further north! Here in mid-Bucks most of the ancient woodlands which were once part of the old Bernwood hunting forest have plenty of it, which is why Light Orange Underwing is so common hereabouts. I'd trade the orange for blue any day!

  3. Maybe next year Dave. I'm also hoping it also establishes itself in my neck of the woods!


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