Monday, 13 June 2016

Monday 13th. June 2016

Another of Hutchinsons Bank's specialities is coming into bloom , Greater Yellow Rattle / Rhinanthus angustifolius , along with it's smaller relation , Yellow Rattle/  R.minor .
A pristine male Large Skipper was my first this year .
Good numbers of Burnet Companion , a day flying moth , seen around the site .
I have only found a handful of Orange Tip eggs this year , and this the only larva .
On the Elm , White-letter Hairstreak larvae have reduced to a singleton , the others probably gone to pupate . The book says they do so on the underside of leaves , but much searching has failed to find a chrysalis .
Small Blue numbers have finally started to rise , with several females , brown like the females of several of
the blue species , being found , and being found and paired , with the ever alert males .
Found close by , an tiny immature Roesel's Bush Cricket , with much growing to do .
The Down House bird survey produced 20 species , the only possible Summer migrant being a singing Blackcap . I did record the first Yellowhammer of the year which was some compensation .
The garden has produced some interest , with a mating pair of Green Shieldbug / Palomena prasina , the female , like many other insect species , being noticeably larger than the male .
Up to no good amongst a Hebe , this Ichneumon , probably Amblyteles armatorius , but there are a large number in this group , and it makes identification difficult .
Also difficult to identify , this Cuckoo / Ruby-tailed Wasp , as there are several similar looking species . Called a Cuckoo Wasp because the female , having made sure no one is at home , reverses into a solitary  bee's nest and lays her eggs alongside the bee's eggs . The bee then seals the entrance with wax , unaware that the wasp larvae on hatching , feed on the bee larvae , before emerging themselves as adults .
Easier ti identify , the Wasp Beetle / Clytus arietis .
A new one for me , the metallic Rosemary Beetle / Chrysolina americana , an invasive species , as the name suggests , appearing from across the pond during the mid 1990s .
The High Elms butterfly transect is still producing really poor results , with the last two and a half hour transect recording just 14 butterflies from 8 species .
Most orchid species are down in number compared to last year , but a few Fly Orchids are still in flower ,
the first Pyramidal Orchids are about to burs into flower ,
and this was one of nine Bee Orchids just flowering that were found .
Also in flower , Scarlet Pimpernel / Anagallis arvensis , a member of the Primrose family ,
Grass Vetchling / Lathyrus nissolia , a member of the Pea family ,
and along a woodland path , Wood Speedwell / Veronica montana , a member of the Figwort family .
A passing golfer told me of an unusual sight , a swarm of bees in a circle on the 13th. fairway .
The Nuthatch pair that I posted 'claying' up their nesthole , have been successful with at least 2 young . I only
had my 100mm. macro lens with me , and on going back with a longer lens the next morning , found that they had fledged .

 A stop off at Keston found at least 6 pairs of House Martins , busy rebuilding or refurbishing nests .
Another visit to Hutchinsons Bank , found Martin with an unusual find , the larva of the Oak Eggar moth .
Glanville Fritillaries are still emerging on site , with numbers of fresh males like this one being seen , and a
few fresh females too . Weather permitting , they could be on the wing for a good while yet .
Brimstones were seen courting , both male and female looking very fresh . If they have hatched this year , they wouldn't normally mate until next Spring , after over-wintering as an adult , but who are we to tell them what to do .
A look around Spring Park Pond found a Whitethroat carrying food ,
a few blue damselfies like this pair of Azure in tandem ,
also in tandem , a pair of Large Red Damselflies .
on emergent vegetation , the exuvia of an Emperor Dragonfly , but no sign of the adult . A pair of Broad-bodied Chasers were also seen but were too busy chasing each other to stop for a picture .

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