|Mother Shipton at Eakring June 2002|
|The discovery of the
area's only Mother Shipton colony on June 1st 2002,
represents a prime example of how a well covered local
patch, can still produce surprises, even after nearly
five years of solid coverage.
Admittedly, the sustained identification and survey work into the area's lepidoptera, has only been at it's present level since July 2000, but the site of this colony has been covered before, yet still remained un-noticed during that time.
Although the Mother Shipton may be a widespread species, it was during the early 1980's that I had last encountered the species, on downland within the Chilterns.
The discovery was intitiated by disturbing an adult from long grass in the north-facing hay meadow on Red Hill. Soon with every few steps, more would take to flight before settling once more.
It soon became noticable that the colony (although quite extensive) consisted of small numbers of adults restricted to the lower-half of the meadow. This was presumed at the time, to be due to the slightly windy conditions, but a later survey conducted in more favourable conditions, also confirmed the presence of these small pockets.