29th & 30th/5/15.

Two glorious days weather. But not a great day yesterday for me. Broke one of my camera’s, and spent most of yesterday, seeing if I could get it fixed, or have to buy a new camera. Turns out I need to buy another camera.

Yesterday:- These are the last 2 moths I managed to photograph with my 8 year old EOS 450D before it finally died on me. Can’t complain its been a good camera for all those years…

Shoulder-striped Wainscoat. This is only my 2nd ever Wainscoat, and both were new to me. I only saw my 1st one a week or so ago…

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Also I saw another new moth, with another coincidence. The other day I took the Dark Arches. Yesterday I saw my 1st Light Arches…

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With my small camera broke, I had to ask Ken to take the only other moth yesterday, which he did and sent me. This is a Snout. Well named with its big snout…

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The only other thing I photographed yesterday was the Small Tortoiseshell. I needed to get home and check if I could repair my camera…

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Today with only the one camera, I decided to do a Butterfly Survey. The Survey was one of my best this year with good numbers seen:- 35 Ringlet, 5 Small Heath, 23 Meadow Browns, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Small White, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 9 Large Skipper and 1 Red Admiral.

Before I set off, I did manage a phone photo of this Common Footman. At the Wardens Office…

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I think these Frog Tadpoles better look out. I’m sure Goldfish eat them. This was taken at the Dog Pool…

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Yellowhammer singing…

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Not sure what people think is so clever or entertaining about destroying this sign. Lets all hope it never happens to their property!!!

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28.6.15.

Wow!!! Talk about after the lords mayor’s show. With such a sunny warm morning with plenty of wildlife yesterday. Today was the complete opposite.

Only checked The Staffordshire Wildlife Trusts Wardens Office out. It was raining that heavy, I just was not prepared for another soaking. So after seeing 2 moths (1 new) I headed home.

The new moth was this Short-cloaked Moth. Gets its name from the the obvious looking Short Cloak…

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Also this Dark Arches…

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As I’m doing the blog, its getting brighter. Might just have an afternoon visit!

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27.6.15.

Warm and Sunny!!!!

What a great morning looking for wildlife me and Ken had.

Although I saw a Southern Hawker emerge last week. It was nice seeing a couple of species not so common on HC. The first being a Male and Female Black-tailed Skimmer…

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The other was this Four-spotted Chaser on the Island Pool…

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Also on the Island Pool were these 2 Common Blue Damselflies…

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Like the Common Blue Damselflies the other day, this Large Red Damselfly was holding himself rigid, while the female laid her eggs….

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Plenty of Large Skippers today, we counted 20. Also got to see the 1st Small Skipper (Bottom Photo) this year…

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We also saw the 2nd Painted Lady this year on HC…

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Speckled Wood…

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Small Heath…

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There were a few Fly Overs..

Kestrel… Obviously we were spotted…

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Lapwings. But I only got a photo of this one…

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And a Lesser Black-backed Gull…

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On our walk I was showing Ken the Red-tailed Bumblebee nest that had been predated upon a few days ago. We had only walked 2 minutes away from that nest, when we came across another one. This time a White-tailed Bumblebees nest. Even stranger we found another nest predated 10 minutes later. Thats 3 now, all with big holes dug out to get to nests and all with dead or dying bees in the soil…

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This Beetle is new on me. There were 3 on the Lavender at the Wardens Office. Its called a Rosemary Beetle…

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Another Beetle we saw is as yet unidentified. Its this really small beetle on the Corn Marigold…

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There were 3 moths at the Wardens Office. This was a new moth to my list. I took the Larva on the 14th March this year. So its nice to now see the adult True Lover’s Knot…

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This is not my 1st time of seeing a Light Emerald. But its my 1st record on HC. Its a pity it was so high up…

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Got a better photo of a Mottled Beauty…

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This Nursery Web Spider looked willing to stand its ground against me…

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Nice to hear news from Dave and Simon that they saw the 1st White Admiral today on Highgate Common!

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26.6.15.

Weather on the Glow Worm Survey last night was warm. The moon was shining bright, and we also had great views of the stars.

The survey group managed to count 29 Glow Worms. I once again tried to photograph a Glow Worm which was sitting out in the open, on a bit of broken tree branch. Not much success really, I did try using a bit of light to aid with seeing more of the Glow Worm, not just its glow. I must admit, what I think I’m having problems with, is my eyes in the almost pitch black, especially so near to the ground. I just can’t see if I’m focused in correctly. Also since I’ve had this new Macro Lens, I’m still learning to  stay a bit further away from the subject. Easy in broad daylight, but at night not so easy!  Here is my best poor effort from last night. But at least you can see a bit more of the Glow Worm itself this time…

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This Afternoons weather was muggy, but overcast.

Got some photo’s sent me from Ken. He had seen a Ghost Moth at the Wardens Office. This time not on the wall, but on the ground. With me wanting to see my first ever Ghost Moth, I decided to get the location off Ken, and see if it was still there on the ground. Luckily for me, and with precise directions off Ken. The Moth was still there. The 1st photo here is one Ken sent me. I forgot to take one from above. Although a bit worn, I think its still a beautiful moth….

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The only other moth at the Wardens Office was a Grass Rivolet…

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Counted 20 Ringlets on my short visit today….

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This is one of my favourite Sawflies. This one is called Sawfly (Rhogogaster)…

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Last night on the Glow Worm survey, I was talking about seeing a Grey Squirrel stripping bark off one of the trees. Looks like it has started on number 2 tree…

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One of the Water Lillies (Nymphaeaceae) is now in flower on the Island Pool…

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I can appreciate how filling your home, with such a beautiful fragrance such as HC Honeysuckle would be a nice thing. But i always think not at the expense of the wildlife. I know there is loads of Honeysuckle flowering, but just imagine if everyone did this. Bee’s are having it hard as it is…

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Ken also sent me this photo. I guess its a good place to read your newspaper!  I’m sure one of these days, I will find Carpet Slippers and a Pipe on a HC Bench…

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One Last Item…Can I congratulate Wildlife Watching Supplies on making such a great Camouflage Bean Bag. One good thing about the camouflage pattern on the bean bag, is that it doesn’t scare the wildlife off. One bad thing, is if you lose it, like I did last night on the Glow Worm survey, its so well camouflaged you can’t find it. Even if you try to retrace your footsteps from the night before!!!

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24.6.15.

Spent about 3 hours over HC this afternoon. While at work this morning it was really sunny, no wind and 25ºC. While on break I decided it was ideal conditions to try my Clearwing Pheromones. Unfortunately by the time I got over HC it had dropped to the minimum of 20ºC, the sun had gone in, and a constant light breeze had turned up. Not such good conditions, but worth a try, especially hearing there had been Welsh Clearwing attracted to a pheromone yesterday at Cannock Chase.

So here are my results:-

I took 4 pheromones and hanged them from different trees. Here are two I photographed set up…

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Amazingly the 1st thing to check out one of the Pheromones was this Robin…

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On the Pheromone instructions, it does say other moths maybe attracted to the pheromone. The first moth that came close, and landed near by, in the undergrowth, was this Common Carpet…

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The only other thing that did turn up near the pheromones, was this Clouded Border. Which I do believe is my first at HC. So perhaps using the pheromones was not in vain after all. Next time I will try a second area with the pheromones, and hopefully the weather will stay hot, sunny and no wind….

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Spotted what I think are Spiders Eggs, in the middle of this oval shaped web…

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With so much time watching the pheromones, the only other thing photographed was this Meadow Grasshopper…

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23.6.15.

Lovely and warm afternoon.

Finally managed a full photo of a Yellow Shell. These moths are usually well hidden in the Heather. But this one at the Wardens Office this afternoon, was showing well, although a little high up…

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It must have been the warm weather, because the next 2 mating photos made me laugh. With this photo i’ve never seen a Common Blue Damselfly male being held up in the air, whilst the female lays her eggs. I did watch this happen for a couple of minutes, and the male just stayed rigid throughout….

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Another unusual mating was this as yet Unidentified Robber-fly. This also lasted for quite some time….

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Best day this year for Butterflies by far. I saw 1 Red Admiral, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Small White, 1 Peacock, 10+ Large Skippers and 2 Small Heath. Only managed this photo of a Large Skipper. The rest were all super charged…

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Also good numbers of Meadow Grasshoppers. I’m putting a bit extra time each visit now, in the boggy area looking for the Bog Bush Cricket. Noticed on orthoptera.org.uk they are mostly photographed on Heather. So that may help in my quest…

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Not sure if this is a wild Chrysanthemum, I spotted up the Heathland Corridor….

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21.6.15.

Longest Day of the Year!!!

Mixed weather again this morning! I do wish the weather would settle down a little. its really hard to know what to wear.

I saw a number of strange things on my walk today. Nature is certainly full of surprises.

My patience with taking photos of Carpet Moths paid off today. I was actually thinking.. here I go again, taking what looks like a slightly different Carpet Moth. Then I get home to find out, its just a variant of a Carpet Moth I have already seen. Well today it was a different moth, and a new Moth to add to my list. Its called a Broken-barred Carpet. It gets its name from the obvious broken bar on either wing…

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The only other moth at The Wardens Office was this Silver-ground Carpet. This one I’m getting to know really well…

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The 1st strange thing that happened this morning, was a Tree Pipit sitting really low in some Honeysuckle. Photographed loads of Tree Pipits over the years, but never seen one sitting in Honeysuckle. The reason became more clear when I looked at my photos when I got home. Its actually a recently fledged Tree Pipit. You can tell this by its Yellow Gape still in evidence at the base of the beak. For me thats great news for HC and the people who put so much effort in, trying to keep the species we have…

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Another young bird seen today was this Great Tit, yet again with the yellow gape…

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The 2nd strange thing that happened this morning, was at about 7am. At this time it was quite dull and very cool. Walking along the path I noticed a small Slow Worm. My 1st instinct is to take a distant photo with the long lens. But as I got closer and closer it did not move at all. Like the Badger the other week I tried to encourage it out of harms way. Gently touching it on the side it never moved. I could also feel it was stone cold. At this point, I just presumed it had died. So then I picked it up with my fingers to take a closer look, even then it retained the shape in this photo (below) and I just thought rigor mortis had set in. I placed it on my palm…Then a Shock as its head twitched. I guessed it may have been too cold for it, so I cupped my palms gently round it. I could slowly feel it getting warmer, and moving way more. At this I placed it in a very safe place, with loads of food and warmth. Walked away feeling I had done my good deed for the day! I will have to ask Paul Wilkinson the next time I see him, if this is a common occurrence…

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Forgot to say yesterday, that The Reptile Group got to see the 1st Ringlets on HC this year. In fact there were 2. Well today I did have my camera, and got my 1st photo of a Ringlet this year…

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I also saw this Small White…

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Yellow-barred Longhorn on Flag Iris…

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With the Reptile Group yesterday, we had the pleasure of seeing numerous Common Lizards popping out from the undergrowth. With no camera yesterday, I decided to try my luck today. Amazingly I only saw one popping out today. But at least it stayed still long enough for this photo to be taken…

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The 3rd strange thing that happened today, I think I may have seen a couple of years ago. It starts off, by me seeing a freshly dug out hole. Then when I looked closer I noticed 35 (I did count) Red-tailed Bumblebees on the surface of the hole. With more inside. What was different this time for me, is that there were quite a few dead or dying on the surface too. Just as I was typing this, I was also on my iPad looking for reasons why this happens. On a website called storm-crow.co.uk They say….Predators are normally limited to creatures that dig up nests such as Badgers and Wood Mice. Well I can definitely rule out Wood Mice, with the hole 10 inches across. But with the location of this hole, I think I finally know whats happened…

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One of the Invertebrate Signs turned up a Marbled White Spot…

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Always called this next Rose, Just Wild Rose, but I thought I would check for the Blog. Its actually called Dog Rose (Rosa canina agg)…

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The Curtis P-40 Kittyhawk was speeding around again today. This time it was making a loud whistling noise. Noises you only hear in WW2 Films. But to me, who was brought up on my Grandads stories of the war, its music to my ears. Mind you I’m glad he is only over a few minutes at a time…

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