Sunday, 20 September 2009

Sunday 20th.September 2009

Yet again , today was a day of two visits . The first was a look around the Common , in what turned out to be barmy , humid conditions . Things were still pretty wet from the overnight rain , which made seeing the spider's webs easier to see . There were loads of them , stretched between almost every piece of vegetation . Nearly all were made , and guarded by the Garden Spider-Araneus diadematus , but a flash of yellow on one , had me taking a closer look . My near three year wait was over , it was a female Wasp Spider . The last time I saw an adult of the species , I had 10 females in two patches of Bramble at Spring Park Pond . I have found egg sacks , mainly when working on the Common during the Winter . Strange thing is thou , I have never found an egg sack that looked as if young had emerged from it , they have all looked as if they were still sealed , as the female would do . I had a good look around the area , but did not find any others , but I will keep an eye on this one , would be great to get her egg laying . Chuffed with the find , I headed off to check a previous find , the Hornet nest . All seemed quiet from a distance , but as I drew closer , that was not the case . Whereas on the last visit , the entrance just looked like a hole in the moss and Heather roots , now the paper type material of the nest can be seen , extending right to the mouth of the entrance , and I would swear that the Hornets were even bigger than last time , four seen here , three heading out and one in . I had the feeling of being watched on the heathland area , the watcher turned out to be a cock Pheasant , and he was watching a female . No sign of Brimstones today , but the Buckthorn , on which the females laid their eggs and the caterpillars fed , are now looking Autumnal , and their berries turning black . On one of the Heather patches , I found a Common Lizard , one of three recorded on site , enjoying the sunshine . Just two butterflies were recorded on site , a Small White and this Comma .
An after lunch visit to High Elms was even lighter with butterflies , with just one Meadow Brown recorded . Without butterflies , I searched for fungi , but even that was in short supply . No sign yet of the Magpie Fungus and Plums & Custard that I usually find here , probably more rain and cooler temperatures needed . Two species that I did find were Hypholoma sublateritium-Brickcap and Calocera viscosa , both found on moss covered tree stumps . The only other interest found was this male Dark Bush-Cricket , identified by the saddle on the back and no ovipositor , which seemed to be having a Darcey Bussell moment .


Warren Baker said...

I spent most of the morning walking through cobwebs Greenie, it drove me nuts as they kept itching my face and freshly shaven head!

Kingsdowner said...

Same butterflies as here Greenie.
Glad to hear that you've found another immigrant wasp spider, welcome if only for her colouring.

Talking of immigrants, there was discussion this morning (while watching bushes...dull)of Western Conifer Seed Bugs, which have just started to be caught by moth-ers around here, presumably having spread from Sussex. The first was caught last year.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the Wasp Spider, and another amazing variety of finds. Those Hornets look like they mean business..I'm outa here..

Simon said...

Sounds like you had a good morning. Nice fungi pictures and well done with finding the Wasp Spider - the best spot I know for these in Kent is at Lydden Down near Dover.

ShySongbird said...

Well well Greenie, Darcey Bussell?! I didn't have you down as a ballet fan ;)
(I'm surprised Warren didn't have something to say about that!) Funnily enough I took a Mallard photo yesterday which calls for exactly the same comment!

Great info on the Wasp Spider. Also the fungi, there are some there I have never heard of, I'm finding it an interesting subject, the more you delve into Nature the better it gets! Lovely to see the Common Lizard.

Thanks very much for all your help and information on the Common Darter, a great help and much appreciated!

Greenie said...

ShySongbird ,
I thought he played in the back four for Chelsea !