Out Now - Wildlife and Places to See in June!
Here you can find out about the wildlife you can seen in Wiltshire and Swindon at the moment. Visit this month's featured site to see a wealth of wildlife, take a look at our identification guide to find out a group you are most likely to see, don’t forget to send us in your records!
Three to Spot
Raft Spider - Dolomedes fimbriatus The Raft Spider is fairly common in boggy habitats such as swamps where there is permanent open water. Landford Bog, the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Reserve, on the edge of the New Forest is a good place to see the Raft Spider. Striking pale yellow stripes along either side of its body make the Raft Spider an easily identifiable spider; these stripes tend to be brighter on males. The rest of their body and their legs are dark brown in colour; it has long sturdy legs and an oval shaped abdomen. The Raft Spider is one of our largest spiders, the females are typically larger than the males.
Beautiful Golden Y - Autographa pulchrina Flying (mostly at night) in June and July, the Beautiful Golden Y is a widespread moth mainly a night flying moth that can occasionally be seen during the day as it rests, often hanging upside down, in low vegetation in a variety of habitats ranging from woodlands to grassland and vegetation around watercourses including rivers and lakes. They are identifiable by three key features; gamma mark on the forewings, purplish and brown appearance of the forewings and lunar discal spot on the paler hindwings. They have a wingspan of 35-40mm feeding on a variety of woodland and garden flowers. The caterpillar is green with a white stripe along the back and a pale yellow stripe down each side.
Scarce Chaser - Libellula fulva Scarce Chasers are, as its name implies, scarce, and the River Avon in Wiltshire is one of its strongholds. A colony can be found along a stretch of the Bristol Avon from Melksham, downstream past Bradford-on-Avon, and on into Somerset. The Scarce Chaser is primarily a riverine species preferring floodplains and watermeadows, and usually inhabits rivers with a slow to moderate flow. Occasionally they can be found in mature gravel pits such as at Cotswold Water Park. They prefer areas that have good water quality, which support submerged and floating plants, and emergent vegetation. They are active May to July, with the peak time being June, although they can sometimes be seen on the wing until early August.
This Month's Must See
Summer Woodland ButterfliesDuring the summer, many of our butterflies can be found in dappled glades or rides of woodlands. These woodlands are very important for some species of butterflies as they are dependant on this habitat for the different stages of their lifecycle Find out about identifying woodland butterflies you see this month with our ID guide
Skylark - Alauda arvensis The resident Skylark can be seen year round, particularly in June and July above arable land and grassland and is well known for the song of the male, which is delivered in hovering flight. Difficult to see when on the ground the Skylark can’t be missed when in flight with males performing an extravagant song flight to attract females, soaring high into the air singing their variable song while hovering for up to five minutes, before parachuting back to the ground. Throughout much of the UK the number of breeding Skylarks in the country has declined dramatically, by 50% in the last 25 years, causing it to be Red listed as a bird of high conservation concern in the UK. Wiltshire has not been immune to this decline with numbers here also dropping sharply.
Explore Langley Wood National Nature Reserve Langley Wood NNR is a large ancient oak forest that supports many ‘old forest’ lichens and supports many species of deer and breeding birds. Public Rights of Way cross the reserve which take in the different woodland habitats enabling an array of different species to be seen, some offering disabled access. Find out more about Langley Wood
Send in records of any sightings
All species records are important, from the most common to the rarest: plants, bird, reptiles, beetles, butterflies, mammals and more. We want to know about what you've seen in Wiltshire and Swindon and need up to date information to form an accurate picture of the state of our wildlife. If you have already sent us records, thank you very much. Don’t forget to send us any records of your sightings along with any photos (if using Living Record just email us these separately).