22.4.15.

Another sunny day, but I thought a bit cooler. There was also a good breeze at times.

With the early weeks weather forecast for today, being slightly wrong. I still thought there was a good chance of good Butterfly numbers. Also there seemed to be good reports from other parts of the region of things like Green Hairstreak and Holly Blue. But unfortunately other than about 6 Peacock and 1 Green-veined White, thats all I saw today.

As usual checked out Wardens Office lights for moths. Nothing new, but there was a Water Carpet, and yet another Brindled Pug…

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At last got a photo of a Highgate Common Rabbit. To add to my Mammal List of photos…

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Counted 14 Willow Warbler singing…

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Song Thrush were up the Heathland Corridor…

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Another Green-veined White, gave me a photo opportunity…

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Took a photo of the other species of Nomad Bee today. Seen both of these this year now. Todays was the Nomad lathburiana. This one’s got Yellow Spots. The other is called Nomad leucophthalma, with Red Spots (see collage of both)…

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Tree Pipit…

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21.4.15.

Another Beautiful Day on Highgate Common.

Really felt lucky today finding this Pine Beauty. It was only a foot off the floor, and although these photo’s make it look an easy find, with its lovely colours. Believe me it was really well camouflaged. I would say this is one of the nicest moths I’ve ever seen…

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There was another Hebrew Character, but this time a lighter version to the one I found yesterday. Both moths were under the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust – Wardens Office Lights…

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Not sure how this Nursery Web Spider got itself into this position. But I’ve been trying to work out how its bent its one leg into that shape…

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My Bird Year List for Highgate Common went up today. It now stands at 59. It jumped from 57 because I forgot to add the Cuckoo the other day. Number 59 was a Garden Warbler. Two strange photos. The first I only thought it was walking across the branch with my naked eye. But obviously at times they must hop along the branches. The second photo it just stared at me. I have at least 20 photos exactly the same…where it never moved…just stared at me…

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Being warmer early morning the Dawn Chorus was in full swing. This Robin and Willow Warbler look like they were taking it in turns singing…

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Been seeing all the resident birds already feeding young. But the migrants like this Willow Warbler are only just building their nests. Must say there are large numbers of Willow Warbler this year on The Common…

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Yellowhammer…

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Long-tailed Tits…

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This is the first Wasp I’ve seen this year. Feeding on the Bilberry. Have bad memories of Wasps, and I would rather avoid them. I disturbed a Wasp nest when I was a child, and got stung on my legs hundreds of times. I will never disturb a Wasp nest ever again….

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20.4.15.

Frosty start. turned into a beautiful day!

Not much time tonight to describe everything. So mainly I’ll just name the wildlife.

Hebrew Character…

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Loads of Eriocraniidae round the Island Pond this morning…

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This Mothfly (Psychdidae) is only about 3-5mm long. Although tiny, its quite a beautiful little thing..

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Green Bottle Fly…

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Pair of distant Bullfinches…

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The Bilberry was full of Bee’s this morning…

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As I took the above Mining Bee on the Bilberry, a Tree Pipit landed in a nearby tree, and began to sing…

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This is the Long-tailed Tits nest, or whats left of it. What my photos don’t show well, is how the back of the nest as totally gone…

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Willow Warbler fly catching. And Yes it did catch this fly…

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Been seeing a lot of Mistle Thrushes just lately. Did not see this one for long though…

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Great Battle above Highgate Common today, between a Carrion Crow and a Buzzard. The Carrion Crow just kept swooping at the Buzzard, it must of really irritated this Buzzard, because at one stage it really lost its head…

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19.4.15.

After a beautiful Saturday, today’s visit was a cold and grey affair. Which makes finding the wildlife that much harder.

This Mistle Thrush seemed interested in something in the grass…

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Decided with the cool conditions, I would do a Bloody-nosed Beetle count. Total 73, with 15 Pairs…

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Also noticed with the cooler conditions, the Tawny Mining Bee’s decided to close their front doors…

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This is the second ever Ruby Tiger caterpillar I have found. But this one was a little smaller. Also it never moved. So I only got this angle…

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Quite a few Willow Warblers on HC now…

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A bit of sad news, This Long-tailed Tits nest has been destroyed. Feathers everywhere from inside the nest. This pair decided to build their nest only feet away from where I had seen the Stoat hunting a few weeks ago…

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Trying to identify  another tree for myself today, just so I can learn what wildlife I’m likely to see on it. As soon as I know ID I will update…

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I did Identify this little rush. Its a Field Wood-Rush (Luzula campestris). Loads of info on the internet..how to get rid of this plant if its in your lawn. But for me, it looks quite a nice plant, and looks at home in the heathland grass…

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I’m afraid it looks like there is one less Pheasant on the Common. But I would rather it feed other Wildlife, than someone with a gun shooting it for fun…

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Tree Pipit singing…

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Decided to have a walk up Camp Hill Lane. It looks to me, that you put your life in danger from Bad handicapped Golfers. These Golf balls were actually on Highgate Common side of the road…FORE!!! LOL!

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Update:- Including this dark version photographed today. All the Pugs I’ve seen lately are all Brindled Pugs. So scratch the Mottled Pug observation. Luckily I had not reported on any survey about the Mottled Pug. Obviously I have loads to learn about Pugs. But just take a look at the bottom Collage to see how hard it is. Like I say…All 5 Brindled Pugs….

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18.4.15.

Lovely sunny day! Which was a good thing for a Reptile Survey Day. Paul Wilkinson from the Canal & River Trust took the group round, to check out all possible sites on HC. I can only speak for myself, but I saw 4 Common Lizards, and I think other people in the group actually saw more…

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Also got to see 2 Slow-worms, one small young one. Also this larger female. expertly caught by Paul…

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The group also got to see 3 Green Tiger Beetles, with this pair obviously mating. This is the first ever time I have observed this…

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The first Orange-tip I have seen this year was spotted by someone in the group. When I arrived it had its wings open, showing those beautiful orange tipped wings. Just got the camera focused on it, and a slight breeze made it close its wings. Also the breeze didn’t help me when it came to focusing. Waiting for the wind to drop, I fell behind the group. So this was the best photo I managed…

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Also got to see a new Beetle. This one is called a Black Carrion Beetle (Silpha atrata)…

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Never mind Tiptoe through the Tulips. This Male Pheasant Tiptoes to the Seed…

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At the Wardens Office there were 3 moths…

Early Grey…

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Brindled Pug…

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Also this moth again, which is splitting opinion. Some think its another Brindled Pug, and others think its a Mottled Pug. Looking at loads of images in books, and apps. I’m siding with the latter…

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17.4.15.

Bright day, but more cloud, and also a lot cooler.

When I arrived at the Wardens Office today I could hear the Cuckoo on the main Common calling. More about the Cuckoo’s later.

Checked out the lights on the Wardens Office, they turned up 3 moths. Firstly I saw this Early Tooth-Striped..

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The other 2 were both Pugs. I’ve spent a good hour looking at Pug images to try to find an identification for both. The one I’m most happy with is this Mottled Pug. Which if correct is a new moth for my list…

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The other, I’m no so happy with. I think it maybe a Brindled Pug. But both Pugs are on iSpot. So I will have to wait to see if I got both correct…

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So after the visit to see what moths were about, I decided to look for the Cuckoo who had been calling all the while I was photographing the moths. It didn’t take me long to find the bird, I just followed the constant Cuckoo call. These next photos are all taken near the Forestry Commission area with the bench under the tree. This is exactly the same area I got my photos of the Cuckoo last year. About an hour after these photos were taken. I actually saw 3 Cuckoo’s. 2 males and 1 female. The one male was trying to scare the other male off. I really wanted a photo of the female, not having one in my collection. I could see the female close to the path near the Island Pool, and she let two lots of people pass nearby twice. So seeing this, I started to walk so I could get closer. Typical, I only walked a couple of steps, and saw her fly off, high over the tree’s heading towards the airport. So here are my best photos of this male Cuckoo…

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Been noticing these Mining Bee holes all over the place. Unlike most of the other holes, which are just level holes in the paths. This Bee obviously likes making a mole style mound of earth. So I decided to sit on the grass and watch which Mining Bee was making them. It took about 5 minutes before this Tawny Mining Bee flew in and landed on top of the mound. It went directly into the hole and stayed there for about 2 minutes. I was trying to photograph it coming out the hole, but it was too quick. It did land nearby, and rested so I got the photo of the Bee and its actual Hole but not in the same photo…

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I think this maybe a Wasp Gall, but is it me..or does it look like a Crocodile Eye…

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Not a great photo, but its my first Swallow taken on HC this year…

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7-Spot Ladybird…

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This next species is one of those I would like to see a lot more of. Not the Caterpillar…But the Adult Drinker Moth. I have only ever seen one Drinker Moth, but I find their Caterpillars most years…

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When your Young and in Love comes to mind with these 2 Hoverflies.  I was correct yesterday thinking these Eristalis pertinax were hairy under their wings. Turns out they can either have hairs or not…

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I managed a better photo of 2 Whirligig Beetles today. At least I can make them out now. But I still want a closer and better photo…

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16.4.15.

Not so sunny as the last few days. But still a lovely day.

Not been many moths at the Wardens Office this week. Mainly because I’ve been checking on the afternoon, and usually most of the moths fly off by dinner time.  But today there was this Beautiful Frosted Green. Which probably was the highlight of the afternoon…

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Got closer to a Tachina ursine…

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Found another small Cucumber Spider, yet again on a signpost…

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Wish Brimstones posed like the Peacocks do.

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This is the first Hoverfly I’ve seen that looks like a Mining Bee mimic. I will update on this species of Hoverfly, as soon as I find out what it is…

Update:- made a mistake here, with this photo. I actually thought it looked hairy under its wings. When I got ID from Chris Brooks its actually a Hoverfly I’ve seen on numerous occasions. The hairs on the under wing are actually yellow patches. Its made look hairy by the wing pattern. This is called a Eristalis pertinax.

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Saw a few Green Tiger Beetles up the new Heathland Corridor…

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I now have a new project get a good photo of a Whirligig Beetle. These little Beetles are never still, and spin on the surface of the water like mad….

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Pied Wagtail…

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Dunnock singing in the Birch Coppice car park…

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I did forget to report the first time a Cuckoo was heard on HC this year. It was heard by Mick a Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Volunteer on Saturday. I suddenly remembered when Ken Ball sent me a male Cuckoo photo taken today…

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