Nature Notes

Beetles galore plus lots of other uncommon and rare sightings on the Reserves this week.

Nature reserves may look completely wild, but our 18 reserves across Northern Ireland are actually carefully managed by a dedicated team. We protect, restore and create a mix of habitats where wildlife can thrive.

Bog Meadows Nature Reserve

Some of the plants around the pond at bog meadows this week - branched bur reed and purple loosestrife

This week also marked the first week that we were able to have all of our Nature Skills Trainees safely back out working on site together. A huge effort from them all in removing the non-native, invasive, Himalayan balsam  - commonly found in areas with damp soil such as river or pond banks ~ Deborah

Himalayan balsam removal bog meadows July 2020

Ballynahone Bog Nature Reserve

A female common darter and an uncommon green tiger beetle at Ballynahone this week,

Also seen were wood tiger moths and a northern wheatear ~ Andy

Straidkilly Nature Reserve

A fantastic wasp's nest found on the reserve this week.

Also, yellow birds nest (Irish Red List - rare species) and a birds net orchid. The two plants are parasitic and don't photosynthesis - so they don't produce any chlorophyll ~ Ryan

Slievenacloy Nature Reserve

Michael Meharg, our conservation grazier, found a meadow thistle on the site last week. Commonly found in the west it is much less common in the east of Northern Ireland. Its companion is a narrow-bordered five-spot Burnet moth - an Irish Red List species, although it appears to be having a good year, there have been lots of sightings!

Also this violet ground beetle - unmissable, shiny beetle. The larvae are carnivorous and hunt other insects ~ Ronald.