Raithby Beck Wood, northwest of Spilsby

A private site with access courtesy of Margot and Keith Charlton.

Afternoon and evening moth/bat session.

12.00 for 13.00 start and then again from 20.30 for evening session. Meet and park on access track which is situated on the east side of the minor road between Hundleby (B1195) and Hagworthingham (A158) at TF365684, immediately north of Raithby Bridge. Nearest postcode PE23 4LF.

NB. No mains available for moth traps. Nearest public toilets in Spilsby town centre or at Snipe Dales Country Park.

Habitats: Grassland, plantations, stream, ponds

Leader: Dr. David Sheppard  07880 986923  d.a.sheppard@btinternet.com

Excellent turnout of 21 people on a very hot and dry afternoon followed by four people for the follow-on evening bat and moth recording session (led by Brian Hedley) which was a lot cooler. Some plant collecting for the LoveLincsPlants project was also undertaken by Aidan Neary and helpers.
Approximately 136 plant species were noted (with many known to have been planted or seeded about 10 years ago). The plant highlight was Needle Spike-rush (very likely naturally occurring at the site) found in a drying-up pond. Other plants included Sneezewort, Spiny Restharrow, Musk Mallow, Water Horsetail, Bugle and Betony. About 40 bryophyte species were noted by Steven Heathcote, especially on large alders alongside Raithby Beck.

Thirty-five birds species made it onto the list including Barn Owl, Tawny Owl, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Bullfinch and Grey Heron. Mammals included Roe Deer, Noctule Bat and both Common and Soprano Pipistrelle Bats. Both Common Toad and Common Frog were noted.

Sixty moth species were noted during the afternoon and also the evening trapping session with most new to the site due to very little recording of this group there. These included Elephant Hawk, Gold Spot, Canary-shouldered and Early Thorns, Small Rivulet, Straw Underwing, Dun-bar, Six-striped Rustic, Bulrush Wainscot, Dusky Plume and Agriphila selasella. Butterflies were numerous with 15 species noted including Painted Lady, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Small Copper and Comma.
The ponds on site were attractive to a variety of dragonflies and damselflies including frequent Emerald Damselfly plus Ruddy Darter, Brown Hawker and Southern Hawker.
Other insects noted included the very large ichnumen wasp Amblyjoppa proteus, Bulrush Bug, the beetles Cassida vibex, Glischrochilus hortensis and Nicrophorus vespilloides, the huge horsefly Tabanus autumnalis and also Blue, Green and Hawthorn Shieldbugs.