Butterflies

Butterflies at welly

The Ancient Greeks didn’t have a word for ‘butterfly’; they called them ‘psyche’ – souls. They believed that the chrysalis was the coffin of the ‘worm’ and that what emerged was its soul.

Wellington College’s diverse habitats make it home to at least twenty-six of Britain’s approximately sixty native species of butterfly. We have most of the common British species, and we also have some of the slightly less common species, such as Brown Argus, Marbled White and flourishing colonies of Purple Hairstreak. We are hopeful that we may have Purple Emperors on our sallow scrub, if not already, then very soon.

Two of our native fritillaries, the Silver-washed Fritillary and the Dark Green Fritillary, have been seen here on a number of occasions. The latter is relatively uncommon in this region. Our flagship species, however, has to be our small colony of rare Silver-studded Blues on our heathland. This beautiful small butterfly has a very fragile ecology, which we are working hard to protect.

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Great Spotted Woodpecker

The Greater Spotted Woodpecker is one of two Woodpecker species that we have here at Wellington. The other being the Green Woodpecker. The Greater Spotted Woodpecker can be seen and often heard drumming from the trees as it looks for food in dead branches and also in Springtime can use the drumming to call a mate and establish territory. The Woodpecker nests in holes in trees that it is able to hollow out. It feeds on grubs, bugs and insects and also will take young birds from nests if it gets a chance. It is a fairly common visitor to garden bird feeders on-site as well.

Goldcrest

goldcrest The Goldcrest is surprisingly common at Wellington but rather difficult to spot. Britain’s joint smallest bird, along with the Firecrest, it nests in the

Greylag Goose

A very distinctive bird with its pinkish-orange bill and pink legs, the Greylag Goose is a new visitor to Swan Lake, making its first appearance in the Spring of 2021.

Latest Updates

Great Spotted Woodpecker

The Greater Spotted Woodpecker is one of two Woodpecker species that we have here at Wellington. The other being the Green Woodpecker. The Greater Spotted Woodpecker can be seen and often heard drumming from the trees as it looks for food in dead branches and also in Springtime can use the drumming to call a mate and establish territory. The Woodpecker nests in holes in trees that it is able to hollow out. It feeds on grubs, bugs and insects and also will take young birds from nests if it gets a chance. It is a fairly common visitor to garden bird feeders on-site as well.

Goldcrest

goldcrest The Goldcrest is surprisingly common at Wellington but rather difficult to spot. Britain’s joint smallest bird, along with the Firecrest, it nests in the

Greylag Goose

A very distinctive bird with its pinkish-orange bill and pink legs, the Greylag Goose is a new visitor to Swan Lake, making its first appearance in the Spring of 2021.

Wren

The Wren, one of Britain’s smallest birds, is a resident here at Wellington College. It is more likely to be heard than seen and its tic-tic-tic and strrrrrrr call indicate that they are around.