Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Wednesday 4th. June 2014

Well , not for the first , or last time , I need to correct my ID of the red beetle on the post before last .
My searches led me to Firebug / Pyrrhocoridae sp. , but I couldn't get any further . So I sent it to Ispot , where an expert identified it as Rhopalid Bug / Corizus hyoscyami , still a first for me , and I must say in my defence , looking very similar .
Another catch up post on a day that hasn't produced as much rain as was forecasted , but it's not over yet . On Monday I stayed reasonably local , stopping off first up on the Common , and finding a few bits of interest ,
on the heathland , the Beautiful Yellow Underwing moth ,
lots of Brimstone caterpillars , some almost ready to pupate like this one ,
some a long way off , like the four on what is left of this leaf . This means that fresh butterflies will emerge over a long period , but they will not mate until next Spring , when they come out of hibernation .
Also found on the Buckthorn , this green and yellow spider with a pink rear end , the Green Orb-weaver Spider .
Looking like a mini canary , this lemon coloured bumblebee hardly stopped as it nectared on the Bell Heather flowers . My searches have led me to White-tailed Bumblebee / Bombus lucorum .
In the glades , opened up during Winter work days , the ground is awash with Common Cow-wheat / Melampyrum pratense , a member of the Lousewort family .
Moving on to a very quiet Keston Ponds , a very confiding female Mandarin brought her two youngsters over . Fortunately I had some grain in the car , which they seemed to enjoy .
Walking down the side of the middle pond , 3 males and one female were perched on their favourite overhanging tree . I had a look on the top pond for Odonata , finding just 2 male Downy Emeralds , who were in constant aerial combat with each other . Not a single damselfly was seen . Heading back
to the car , I re-found the 'mum and two' , after their meal , they were sleeping it off on a platform used by anglers . With the sun still showing intermittently , I decided to have a look up on the Greensand Ridge , as it had been some time since my last visit , when combat and mating were the
order of the day . Just 3 Adders were found on the visit , a single male in the 'doughnut' position , 
and 2 females , probably the two that I had seen being mated some weeks ago . This one allowed just this shot , the other , not even that , before they sped off to cover .
In a brief spell of sunshine yesterday afternoon , I shot up to Hutchinson's Bank , once again hoping to find a Glanville Fritillary or two . The conditions didn't last with cloud rolling in after about 15 minutes on site . Brimstone , Peacock , Small and Common Blue , Dingy and Grizzled Skipper , Small and Large White and Small Tortoiseshell were all seen , but no GFs . When the cloud blotted out the sun , I was at the far end of the site , and the walk back was a cooler affair than the walk out . It did however produce a pair of Bullfinch , which made it worthwhile . Leaving the site , I had a look
for the Peacock eggs , easier to see without the female over them . I'd estimate between 150-200 tiny green eggs , several layers deep . Of course that doesn't mean we are going to awash with the species in a few weeks time , as on average for every 100 eggs layed , 40-80 will make it to caterpillars , of those 20 will make it to pupate and they will produce 4-6 adults in the Autumn , who will over-winter and hopefully breed this time next year .
A few bits from the garden ,
 very smart Tree Bumblebee / Bombus hypnorum ,
a total of 8 , so far , Mullein moth caterpillars , the eggs layed on Carol's cottage garden Verbascum , same family as Mullein , plants ,
in a break between showers , two of these Ichneumons were charging through the flower beds , hardly stopping and even when they did , they didn't stay still . Hopefully correctly identified as Amblyteles armatorius ,
the tiny yellow and black 14-spot Ladybird / Propylea 14-punctata ,
and a new hoverfly for me , Eupeodes corolla .

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

The Mandarins here Greenie are totally unapproachable, maybe I should take some grain along ?