20.6.15.

Three words to describe the weather today for the Reptile Survey….WET WET WET!!! All of us got totally soaked. So much so, it made it right through to my underwear.

The Reptile Survey, although raining heavily throughout, was quite successful. We got to see 2 Grass Snake, 1 Slow Worm, At least 10 Common Lizard and a Common Toad.

I would like to thank Cobs (The Warden) for letting me use the Staffordshire Wildlife Trusts step ladders to photograph this next moth. Without the step ladders I would not have been able to photograph and ID this new moth for my list. Its called a Olive Pearl (Udea olivalis)…

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This is also a first for me, seeing 1st Instar Larvae emerge from their tiny eggs. I would guess the larvae were about 2mm in length, and to the naked eye easily missed. I do believe why they stay close to their eggs (26 Eggs & 26 Larvae) is because this provides them with their 1st meal.  As yet they remain Unidentified, but I’m guessing at either White or Buff Ermine Larvae. I have a fantastic website to check for these facts, but neither have 1st Instar Buff or White Ermine Larvae photos…

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One bad thing about heavy rain, is that I usually decide not to take my camera gear, and just enjoy a walk. When the survey team reached the Island Pool we spotted a Southern Hawker trying to escape its Nymph Skin. Wow! what a struggle it was having trying to pull itself free. But must admit it was fascinating to watch. I was kicking myself not taking the camera gear. At this stage I would guess it was only halfway free. When the Reptile Survey had ended, I decided to rush over, and see if it was still there. Luckily it was, and this time it had managed to totally break free, and was in the drying out stage. I Must admit, with it being freshly escaped, the colour confused me, as it looked so pale. For this reason I put it on iSpot just to check. The reason given for being a Southern Hawker is that it has wide Antehumeral Stripes, and also has a Thoracic Side Pattern. Thanks to Chris Brooks for the ID and Information….

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Update:- Can’t believe I overlooked this yesterday…Its obviously a Common Froghopper. The stripes made me think of another species of Leafhopper I had seen a few years ago…

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19.6.15.

Mixed weather conditions this morning. Started off sunny. Turned grey and breezy!

Sounds like the people who went on the Nocturnal Wildlife Walk last night had a good time. Things seen were…  5/6 Woodcock, 5 Glow Worms, A number of Pipistrelle Bats by the Island Pool. Also Tawny Owls heard.

Not many moths at Wardens Office this morning. I did photograph another Brown Rustic…

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Also a Brown Silver-line…

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This male Bullfinch was busy eating new catkins…

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First young Robin I’ve seen this year…

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The air over Highgate Common this time of year, is full with the sweet smell of Honeysuckle. There seems more than ever this year. Which bodes well for the White Admirals. …

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Plenty of Brown China-marks on the Island Pool…

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Common Marble (Celypha lacunana)…

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Scarce Footman Larva…

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As yet this is an Unidentified Leafhopper. It took me ages to get a photo of this Leafhopper. It always wanted to be on the other side of the plant stem away from my camera…

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A real tatty looking Common Blue…

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The number of Large Skippers are still on the increase. With these two obviously in love. Male on the left with the Black diagonal line. Female on right, without black line…

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18.6.15.

After yesterday’s tea time rain, I thought today maybe disappointing. But for me it was a really good day!

A few weeks ago I took a photo of a Scarlet Tiger caterpillar , and said I wish some of the great larva I was photographing would show up at the Wardens Office. Well today I got my wish. I couldn’t believe my eyes, two Scarlet Tiger’s on the office door frame. Also probably the lowest moths I’ve photographed at the Wardends Office….

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Decided to take a close up of this White Ermine. Don’t think I have a facial of this species…

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This Cinnabar was the only other moth at the Wardens Office…

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The Mining Bees seemed more active again today…..

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Yellow-tail caterpillar…..

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Love the feather pattern/markings on this Carrion Crows Mantle….

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Unidentified Grasshopper….

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The coming and going’s of a Foxglove….

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This was a great end to my morning. I never get tired of seeing Buff-tips. Especially when I find one on a tree trying to hide. I wonder how many I pass a day on trees with it fantastic camouflage?….

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17.6.15.

Strange day yesterday! Dull but very muggy!

Highlight of a short morning was this Mottled Beauty on The Wardens Office wall…

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Ken took a photo of this Meadow Grey which kindly landed on me. But it was impossible for me to take a photo…

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I think we have a confused Buff Ermine, I suspect it thinks it a Bat. Well it did land on the Bat Boxes!!!

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Never really took a close look at a Flag Iris before. It is a beautiful flower from a distance, but when you look at it up close, it looks even better…

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Also luckily photographed a Common Blue Damselfly on a Flag Iris. Well spotted by Ken…

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This year more people seem to be keeping their dogs out the Island Pool, which is good news for the Wildlife…

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This drying Tree Pipit certainly had enjoyed its dip in the pool…

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Small Heath taking shelter from a slight breeze…

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White Foxglove….

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Black-headed Cardinal Beetle…

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I think this was a Carder Bee on Honeysuckle. The Honeysuckle is smelling absolutely beautiful at the moment…

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Grey Birch almost camouflaged…

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16.5.15.

Lovely and sunny again this morning. It was also 17ºC at 7:30 am.

Highlight of the morning was seeing my 1st Painted Lady this year! But if The Butterfly Conservation are right, this will be the first of many this year. Love the photo of the Painted Lady in flight…

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Large Red Damselfy…

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I saw my 2nd and 3rd Meadow Brown. Also the first Red Admiral flew through, but to fast to photograph…

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Nice to see another Four-dotted Footman, but this time, where I usually see Footman moths…In the Grass…

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Meadow Grasshopper…

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Another favourite moth of mine,is this Marbled White Spot. Just love their Red eyes…

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Only moth of note at The Wardens Office was this Bee Moth. Had to take this photo, just on how it was over the edge of the wood, showing its snout…

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3 Updates:-

I showed Ken today how many of these Larva there actually were. The surprise to me is that these are 24 Spot Ladybird Larva. The surprise being I only saw my 1st ever 24 Spot Ladybird about a month ago. Its the only Ladybird I’ve seen with a Red head. So it looks very promising that we are going to see some more of these beautiful Ladybirds. This is a new photo taken today…

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The bug I photographed yesterday is a Mirid Bug (Leptopterna) Nymph…

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This Update took me till 1:00am this morning to find out…The plane is a WW2 Curtis P-40 Kittyhawk…

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15.6.15.

Lovely Sunny Morning!!!

Not much time to post tonight. So I’ll keep the writing down to a minimum.

Female Blackcap…

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Whitethroat on Broom, enjoying the early morning sunlight…

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This isn’t a great photo, but its been a while since I saw a Male Kestrel over HC…

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The later stage of a Forest Shieldbug nymph…

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Lobesia reliquana….

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Sawfly (Symphyta)…

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Hoverfly (Volucella bombylans)…

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Loads of Garden Chafer’s were paired up….

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Greater Spearwort is now flowering in the Island Pool…

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I think this is a Purple Flag iris, also in the Island Pool…

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Last week the Island Pool was at its lowest level, that I have ever seen. But luckily with all the rain last Friday and Saturday, Its back to its normal level….

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Unidentified Bug…

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There were loads of these Unidentified Larva in the grass…

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Just love how the early morning light makes even a Bramble look stunning…

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Saw my 1st Meadow Brown this year…

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I think this Small Heath was trying to hide from me..

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Small Tortoiseshell…

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Common Blue…

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Good numbers of Large Skippers today…

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Another Common Blue, but this time a Common Blue Damselfly…

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Saw 2 new moths for my list today at The Wardens Office. The 1st was a Four Dotted Footmen. Had a bit of luck with this moth. It flew off the wall and landed on the Car Park….

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The 2nd was a Common Wainscot. Its a shame it was really high up. But I got enough off the photo for an identification…

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I also finally photographed the Orange form of the Common Marbled Carpet…

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Buff Ermine…

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Like the Air Balloons a week ago, I know this is not Wildlife. But it does give you a feel of what you can see flying over the nearby Halfpenny Green Airport. This guy at times really flew low over the Common. Amazed me how fast and powerful it was. I will try to find out what type of plane it is….

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14.6.15.

Lovely sunny morning. Yet the weathermen were saying friday, it had got to be rainy all weekend…WRONG!!!!

If you want to know how rainy it was over the last few days…ask this Red-legged Partridge. It looked absolutley soaked. Always like it when a bird settles down and carries on behaving normally, so you know you ain’t disturbing it.  In this case eating what looks like grass seed…

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Luckily photographed this Whitethroat just has it caught a Garden Chafer…

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Over the years I’ve been really lucky on these Green Telegraph Wires. But I didn’t expect, what I did see while photographing this  beautiful Goldfinch singing…

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While photographing above Goldfinch, I caught a flash of yellow fly up to the same green telegraph wire. My first thought was a Yellowhammer, especially being a 100 yards away. Then I noticed the long tail. As I got nearer I could tell I had a Yellow Wagtail. I took some early distant record photos, and kept creeping forward. Luckily it let me get nearly underneath it. All the while I was taking photos it carried on singing. But with the early morning sunlight, the closer photos were darker. But these photos are my best ever of this stunning bird. So much so, I’ll post most of them, for you to enjoy. Its funny a few weeks ago Simon, Kens friend said he heard a Yellow Wagtail, but me being slightly deaf I did not pick the call out.  I was actually thinking that would be a 1st for me at Highgate Common. This bird takes my Year List for HC to 64…

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Grey Heron…

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It was also a good morning at the Wardens Office. I was hoping for the Orange wing form of the Common Marbled Carpet. I didn’t see that colour, but I did see this dark Brown form of the Common Marbled Carpet…

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This is the 1st Grass Wave I’ve seen this year. It is a common moth at HC, and you usually see them in thick grassy areas..

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Also the 1st Brown Rustic of the year…

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Small Phoenix…

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Engrailed…

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I took this next photo, not because of the Buff Ermine moth, but because I noticed these 2 small flies on it. Thats a first for me. Never seen flies on a moth before…

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This is only my 2nd Marbled White Spot I have ever seen. Not a great photo, but it was really high up…

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It looks like if you are a White Ermine female. The best place to lay your eggs, is on a HC Wardens Office light. Thats a group of eggs over the Office main door. Plus these over the Toilet door…

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