Firstly , a big ' Thank You ' to ShySongbird / ShySongbirds Twitterings , who , with a little more self conviction , would have beaten 'The Man ' , to identifying the Feathered Thorn that I asked for help with last night . Like ShySongbird , I looked at lots of images of moths both before and after posting , but did not come up with the answer Thank You again Shy Songbird for your effort .
Yet another day 'stolen from Summer' , I really like that phrase , it describes today's weather perfectly . Carol wanted some help , doing some heavy cutting back in the garden , and as I wanted some dinner tonight , I said I would be only too happy to help , so I only got out this morning . I headed straight for the Common , to see how the Wasp Spider was getting on . I found her easily enough , but it appeared that she had been to Weightwatchers , as she was much smaller in the abdomen . Then , I spotted why , she had constructed her egg sack , and as it was sealed at the top , I assume that she had already laid her eggs . Looking like a hot air balloon , and suspended by a criss-cross web amongst the Heather , this egg sack contains the continuance of the species as far as she is concerned , as , having mated , and then probably eaten the male , she will die over the Winter . Leaving her to finish her work , I found a specimen of an over mature Common Darter , resting on Bracken , Difficult to say whether a male or female , as they both go a dark beige/brown colour at this time . Next stop was right on the road crossing on the Common , where I first saw a Wasp Spider egg sack , two years ago . An old sack was found , but nothing fresh , until I came across another female , and from the size of her , she had not yet laid her eggs , and having made her web across a small track , enabled a full on shot . Also in the shot is the zig-zag (bottom centre) , that is part of the web spun by this species , but no one is sure of the purpose of it . Enjoying the sunshine , I headed for the Hornet's nest , to find a lot of activity around the entrance hole . Not so much coming and going , more excitement at the entrance . After a sort while , this enormous specimen , much bigger than any I have seen there , appeared at the entrance , I think it may be one of the future Queens , but cannot be sure . Shortly afterwards , the workers started taking an interest in me , so I backed off , in big strides . A little later , I spent quite some time trying to photograph a female Ichneumon type fly , without success , because she just would not keep still . Walking through the Heather on the heathland area , I was surprised to disturb yet another Clouded Yellow . This must be my 14/16th. sighting this year , and that number will be up with the Painted Lady sighting for the year . During my visit , I saw many male Vapourer moths , flying between Oak trees , probably looking for the non-flying females of the species . I never did manage to see one land , they just seemed to disappear into thin air , or over the tops of the trees .
On my way home , I stopped and had a look at a piece of rough headland around a harvested arable field . A lot of the time was spent trying to Identify a yellow Hawkbit/Hawkweed/Hawksbeard type specimen , which I still haven't managed to do . But I did find and identify , Small Toadflax-Chaenorthinum minus , a member of the Figwort family , Knotgrass-Polygonum aviculare , in flower , a member of the Dock family ,and Black Medick-Medicago lupulina , a member of the Pea family , identified from other similar species , by the minute point on the end of each leaflet .
5 hours ago