School of Biological Sciences students and staff alike enjoyed a veritable wildlife bonanza during week 6 ‘enhancement week’, with a range of sessions including bird ringing and moth trapping that served to demonstrate you don’t have to go far for a wildlife experience when you live and work on Whiteknights Campus.
Many attendees at the first days ringing saw their first ever firecrest, which with goldcrest is Europe’s joint smallest bird. Although this species is becoming more common – possibly thanks to climate change – it remains nationally rare. To catch 5 different individuals during the course of the week in Whiteknights Park was quite remarkable.
After a hectic week or two I’m just now catching up with our records and pictures from the week. Below are some highlights from the moth trapping sessions. Perhaps the most interesting record was The Gem (Nycterosea obstipata) , an immigrant species which is only recorded in Berkshire a handful of times each year. With stunning species like merveille-du-jour on the wing but a less overwhelming variety of moths flying than during the summer, autumn is a good time to start out with moth identification.