23.7.15.

Overcast but Bright!

Managed a distant photo of the Rooks that have been knocking around the last few days…

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Only just spotted this Hare in this wheat field, opposite the Wardens Office…

IMG_9228The next 2 photos were both distant. Nice to see a Greenfinch these days…

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Also distant was this male Linnet…

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With reports of a Little Egret using the Mere Farm Pool, we keep checking it out. No luck with the Egret. But like yesterday there was a Lapwing…

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This is a Harlequin Ladybird emerging from its pupa stage…

IMG_3154With it being so quiet, its good checking out Essex Skippers (Top), and Small Skippers (Bottom)….

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Unknown Larva in the Heather…

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Only my second Drinker adult found. Not a great photo, it was way up high and in a very dark area…

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The only other moth worth photographing was this Brimstone…

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Update on visit last night looking for the Nightjar. Unfortunately there was no sign of the Nightjar. The unusual thing was, I decided to take a photo of the sun setting. Did not notice till I got home I unknowingly got a photo of what I think is a Glow Worm…

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Cropped photo….Must admit it looks a very large Glow, but I have no other explanation, what it could be. Answers on a Postcard….

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and a lot bit darker…

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22.7.15.

Mostly dry this morning, but grey overhead.

Not far from HC is Mere Farm Pool. Today a Redshank dropped in. It was chased round a few times by a Lapwing…

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Also on the pool was quite a few Swallows taking insects off the surface…

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Back at The Wardens Office, yet again was quiet. But it did throw up yet another new moth. This one is called Marbled Minor agg (Oligia strgilis agg)…

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It also gave me a better look at a Barred Straw (only my 2nd). The last one being in a web, and high up…

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The only other thing to photograph at The Wardens Office was this Harvestman (Leiobunum rotundum)…

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I found this female Pheasant relaxing in the undergrowth. She certainly was not going to move, and let me get really close…

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This female Large Yellow Underwing was in good condition….

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Ken found and photographed a Spiked Shieldbug, which I was happy about. There seemed plenty of Shieldbugs about today. Including these 2 Shieldbug Nymphs…

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The Redshank on the pool was not the only Redshank we saw today. Plenty of the plant variety about….

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Essex Skippers (Top 2 Photos). Small Skipper (Bottom Photo)…

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Green-veined White…

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Dingy Footman…

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Male Red-tailed Bumblebee…

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Small Fan Foot…

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One bit of important news. Me and Ken are convinced we saw a Nightjar today. Going over tonight to have a look and listen.

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20/21.7.15.

Two days worth of posts here. Only had a short time over HC yesterday. One reason I decided to go over Clee Hills. The other, when we finally did get back. The weather was awful.

The strangest thing about checking The Wardens Office out yesterday was finding this Speckled Bush-cricket on the wood of the canopy….

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The moth numbers were down yesterday. There was this Buff-Tip and Engrailed together…

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Clouded Border…

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This next moth might be a new moth for me. But I’m getting it checked out. I suspect it could be a Small Scallop. I happened to notice it looked slightly different from the Wave moths…. Update!!! Just had it confirmed..it is a Small Scallop. So pleased I noticed the difference now…

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The only other thing I photographed yesterday was this Mottled Beauty….

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Today’s weather although better than yesterday, still had quite a few showers in it. It was also a lot warmer reaching 18ºC while I was there.

As usual started day off at Wardens Office. Yet again today really low numbers of moths. But I did find another (Only my 2nd) Olive Pearl. This one though was in a lot worse condition than the last one I saw…

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Common Footman…

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At the side of the Office I noticed a Buff Tip resting on what I think is Sheep’s Sorrel. Buff Tips seem the most frequent visiter to the Wardens Office lately…

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One of the highlights of the day was seeing/photographing this Purple Hairstreak with its wings open. Anybody who hasn’t seen a Purple Hairstreak with its wings open is missing a treat. Only problem is, is that as the butterfly moves around you get different intensities of purple from the sunlight. At times it looks almost like a purple light shining. In my honest opinion my photographs don’t do it justice….

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I always think the Red-tailed Bumblebee male, with its yellow face hairs is such a beautiful Bee…

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With quite a few showers, a lot of the butterflies stayed low. But I did manage a photo of this Small Tortoiseshell…

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I know the Purple Hairstreak is a beauty, and it is a highlight to see in any day. But today this was my big highlight. After finding 2 Instars of the Spiked Shieldbug nymphs (top 3 photos). My patience was finally rewarded this morning when I spotted this adult. With those pointed spikes and its armoured head, it reminds me of a Triceratops. What a Cracker!!!..

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With Ken arriving a bit later, he missed the Hairstreak and the Spiked Shieldbug. We did try to find another Spiked Shiedlbug. Ken thought he had found one. But it turned out to be this Forest Shieldbug. Which is harder to tell apart in the field especially with our eyes. But it gives a good comparison with above Spiked Shieldbug….

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Spotted this new, really small (5mm long) beetle. Its called a Cereal Leaf Beetle…

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I cannot believe this is only my 3rd Common Darter (All Females) this year…

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UPDATES!!!

Here are some of the Updates on Unidentified Species:-

Mottled Grasshopper…

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This is a Sawfly Larva called Croesus septentrionalis…

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This is the final instar of a Spiked Shieldbug….

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Can’t believe this moth got identified, with such little information on the photo. I did check, and I’m really happy with ID. Its called Chrysoteuchia culmella…

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This next moth is one of two species. Unfortunately they can only be told apart with dissection. So I will have to say its either a Grey Tortrix or a Light Grey Tortrix….

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I was told yesterday that this next beetle was a Click Beetle. But personally never seeing a Click Beetle so big, I thought it must be a species of Ground Beetle. So well done Paul Wilkinson for knowing this fact. Its a Click Beetle (Selatosomus aeneus)…

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19.7.15.

Had to cut todays visit short due to rain. Which was a shame, because its just gone sunny! May do an afternoon visit.

Because of the rain, I only checked out the Wardens Office. I did photograph a new species of moth to add to my list. This one is called a Dusky Sallow. I think this is a splendid looking moth…

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There were 2 Yellow-tails on the wall today. The first one I photographed was my normal view of this species. The second Yellow-tail gave me a view of something I have wanted to see for a few years now. Unfortunately to see the actual Yellow Tail, which gives this species its name, this one looks like it was blown into the wall on a rainy night. But the good news was that as me and Ken were leaving it was pulling itself together….

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A bit of a yellow theme this morning. I always love to see a Yellow Shell in good condition. It makes for a good photo…

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The next moth I only saw for the first time a couple of weeks ago at work. Now I can add this beautiful Buff Arches to my HC List….

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V-Pug…

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A well worn Single-dotted Wave…

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I took the top photo of a Peacock caterpillar hanging upside down on Friday morning. Looked at it today and its started pupating (bottom photo)….

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I thought I’d post a photo of the Wardens Office lights. There are 8 of these round lights. In this photo you can see 3 of todays moths… Dusky Sallow (on light), Yellow-tail (bottom right) and the Buff Arches (on wooden post, top left)….IMG_1714

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18.7.15.

Lovely Sunny Day! Only problem it was to Warm for Reptile Survey! Also quite windy at times.

Although I got to see a couple of new moths at the Wardens Office. It was probably one of the worst total of moths seen.

1st new moth was this Dusky Pearl. This is the 2nd Pearl species I’ve seen this year….

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This next moth I made a mistake on. I actually originally thought it was a Grass Rivulet. But something was bugging me about the pattern on its wings. Turns out it was this Sandy Carpet, the 2nd new moth today…

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We seem to be getting a few Butterflies joining the moths on the Wardens wall, like this Small Tortoiseshell…

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Not on the wall, but on a stick near the lights was this Buff Tip. Quite happy with these photos….

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Trying to find out, what species of Mirid Bug this is…

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Strange today, all the Common Blue Damselflies seemed to have vanished, and been replaced by good numbers of Azure Damselflies, on both ponds…

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There were also good numbers of Large Red Damselflies on the Island Pond…

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Also spotted another Blue-tail Damselfly….

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Hoverfly (Chrysotoxum bicintum)….

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We seem to have more Essex Skippers than Small Skippers this year….

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Never witnessed this before. This is a Common Wasp munching on one of the sign posts. I could actually hear it. I know they make their nests out of a wood pulp….

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I like this photo of this Comma. Good numbers of Comma seen today…

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I thought this was a small Sheildbug. But its actually a Common Green Capsid (Lygocoris) pabulinus)…

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Still undecided about this next moth, so I’ve sent it off for Identification….

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Large White….

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This Beetle on Paul Wilkinson’s hand is unidentified…

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Not sure I’ve ever noticed White Feet on Flesh Flies before….

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Thanks to Gary for this next photo. Its of a Slow Worm tasting the air with its tongue. The Retile Survey was probably the lowest count we have done…

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A synchronised Tufted Duck fly over…

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Grey Heron…

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Chaffinch…

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Carrion Crow…

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Great Tit….

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Noticed this Magpie seemed to have a hooked beak…

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This is my 4th Painted Lady…

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Me and Mick got to see what seemed good numbers of Purple Hairstreaks in the Oak trees near The Wardens Office. Shame they all stayed high up….

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Lastly I added to my Highgate Common Bird Year list this morning. Seems strange its took me this long to see a Rook. But that now takes my total up to 65.

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17.7.15.

Sun, Rain, and Wind. But wildlife wise a very good day!!

At the Wardens Office there was a nice mixture of Moth new arrivals…

Spindle Ermine…

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White Plume Moth (Pterophorus pentadactyla)…

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This was strange, I actually photographed this Marbled Beauty on the 11.7.15. I know this because I checked the damage on its wing and head….

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This is my 1st Dun-bar I’ve seen this year…

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At last after several photographs, by me and Ken of this moth. Chris Brooks on iSpot finally identified it. Not sure why it was so hard. But after checking My Moth App I know its correct. Its called a Large Twin-spot Carpet…

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Teasel Dipsacus…

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A few unidentified species now, including 2 Larva a Moth and a Fly…

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I’m very sure this is a Peacock larva, seen them hang like this before. But from a plant not a building…

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Its alway an highlight when you catch a Purple Hairstreak low down, and out of the high tree canopy. Also pleased it stayed long enough for Cobs the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Warden to see it…

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This Common Frog was really lucky by the Dog Pond, I nearly stepped on it…

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This Gatekeeper was posing so well, I had to take a photo…

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Apotomis turbidana…

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Pellucid Hoverfly….

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With the Frog being lucky. Unfortunately this Slow Worm was not so lucky. Not sure what had killed it. But this is a reason I always move them off the path and into cover. Taking the Circle of Life into consideration, and looking on a brighter note, if you look carefully the Slow Worm is providing a nice meal for some Red Ants. Oh Well, with the Reptile Survey taking place tomorrow, there will be one less Slow Worm, that we will have the pleasure of seeing…

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This was a coincidence, I was only saying to Ken earlier in the morning, that I needed to photograph more Blue Damselflies. Just in case there were any Azure Damselflies amongst them. I have real problems seeing the Stirrup mark on the side of the thorax. But when I looked on my camera image, I could not believe the 1st Blue I took today was in fact a Azure Damselfly….

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This was my highlight today, seeing my 1st Emerald Damselfly at Highgate Common. Like the Azure Damselfly above, it was on the Dog Pond. We checked it out earlier on in the morning, but with last years date getting ever nearer when I saw a Black Darter, I thought we would check it again on our walk back to the car. So glad I did…..

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Essex Skipper…

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Close to The Wardens Office, down Mere Lane. There has been a Quail singing the last 2 days!!!

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