27.6.16.

Monday.. Sunny…18ºC

Popped Across to Roman Road-Stourbridge today. To have a look at The Scarlet Tiger Project. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the visit, and for anyone who loves moths, I would highly recommend a visit. We counted 69 within a 200 metre path. But for me the best part was to see so many flying round your head, showing that glorious scarlet underwing and body. It was also lovely to meet Joy Stevens with garden fork in hand, who with other volunteers help look after this area. Thanks to you all, for this wonderful spectacle this afternoon. Although worn I love the photo with one of the Scarlet Tigers about to take off…

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I forgot to thank Ken yesterday for some of his Tong Church photos!

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26.6.16.

Sunday…Sunny spells…19ºC.

Me and Ken decided on a trip to Prees Heath Common today. To hopefully see Silver-studded Blue butterflies. This turned out to be a lot easier than I had expected, especially arriving early and the overcast conditions. Luckily after walking about 200 metres from the Car Park, the sun came out, and so did the Silver-studded Blues. Altogether we must have seen at least 100, all in a small area of the Heath. Here are the best of my photos of this stunning Butterfly…

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Also on Prees Heath was this Meadow Grasshopper…

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I always think Evening Primrose is beautiful in flower. This was flowering on the edge of the Heath…

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On the way home I wanted to stop and take some photos of the 600 year old St. Bartholomew’s Church in Tong, Shropshire. Charles Dickens was supposed to have used this church in his book…The Old Curiosity Shop, where Little Nell was buried….

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Only just after 10am and heading back to Highgate Common….

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Being so early, we decided to check out HC. This Large Twin-spot Carpet was the only moth of note at The Wardens Office…

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Speckled-Bush Cricket…

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I was really getting worried that I had not found any Green Hairstreak larvae this year. But today we spotted 6 on 2 Gorse Bushes. Which is great after such bad weather lately…

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On Friday I found yet another new moth at Work. This photo taken with smartphone is a Double-striped Tabby (Hypsopygia glaucinalis). This moth is not covered very well in books or my apps….

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21.6.16.

Tuesday…Sunny with partial cloud. 16ºC.

Started the day off with a moth in our bathroom. Someone forgot to turn light off and the window was open. So I had the pleasure of finding a new moth species for my list. This is a Beautiful Hook-tip. When I find a new moth, I always look them up, and read about them. The photos of the Larvae of this moth, are fantastic. This Larvae is now on my must see/photograph. But I doubt I will ever find one….

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At the Wardens Office there was a Foxglove Pug…

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I wonder if this Garden Warblers was enjoying the fragrance of the Honeysuckle as much as I did this morning…

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This is a new Hoverfly on me. It took my eye, mainly how small it was. It’s called Chrysotoxum bicinctum….

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People who have followed my posts from HC over the years, knows it’s always interested me who puts the flowers round/in the Island Pool. I had a bit more of a clue this morning after seeing the flower tribute…

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Two-banded Longhorn Beetle….

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Jelly Ear Fungus…

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This always amazes me, when I see two of these Volucella Bombylans (Red-tailed Bumblebee Mimic Hoverfly) flying round. I think it’s the female that hangs upside down, but either way it still looks unusual…

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Harlequin Ladybird (F.spectabius)….

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I thought all the Dragonflies had vanished, since the heavy rain. So it was nice to see a Broad-bodied Chaser on the main Common…

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Ruby-tailed Wasp. I read about these wasps tonight. It’s an amazing little creature. It lays it’s eggs in a number of different species of Solitary Bee. Then it abandons them. When the Ruby-tailed Wasp larvae emerge, the eat either the host Bee, and it’s Larvae. It’s other name is Cuckoo Wasp for good reason…

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My 1st Ringlet on HC this year….

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At work I found another new moth. This one a Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix, not a great photo taken with my phone, but it’s got some distinct features…

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19.6.16.

Sunday…Overcast all morning…16ºC.

Still low numbers of Moths at the Wardens Office, with this Bright-line Brown-eye the only moth of note. Always think this is a great name for this moth, for obvious reasons…

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Although the next 2 species of bug are common, I have not seen them before. Firstly this Deraeocoris flavilinea…

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Secondly this Mirid Bug…Leptopterna dolabrata…

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Small Common Orb Weaver (Metellina segmentata)…

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One of the Crambidae moths. Hard to tell which one….

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Walking round the Island Pool this morning, I noticed hundreds of young Common Frogs. This one still has it’s Tadpole tail…

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Small Heath…

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Flowers on the Birch Coppice Car Park this morning…

A real rarity flying over the Main Heath this morning. I’m not sure who was photographing/filming who at times. Years ago the Common used to be used by people flying Model Planes, hence the name of The Modeller’s Car Park….

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Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads!

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18.6.16.

Saturday…Overcast, with occasional sunny spells. 16ºC.

After the very heavy midweek rain, I was expecting a very quiet visit on the wildlife front. But it was actually better than I feared.

Really good numbers of Micro Moths were flying around. I was expecting to find the top photo species easily. But I have had to post it to iSpot, after unsuccessfully looking through my book…

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There are now good numbers of Brown China Marks round the Island Pool…

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There were 3 discarded Dragonfly Casts also on the Island Pool…

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I have never seen so much Bedstraw (Galium) at HC as this year…

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Orange Ladybird…

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I saw my first Meadow Browns of the year…

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Hoverfly (Volucella pellucens)…

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This Sawfly (Symphyta) kindly posed on the wooden bench at the Island Pool…

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Speckled Wood…

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With the rain, the Bramble and Bracken have grown an extra 6 inches. Also it must have helped the Foxgloves, because it seemed taller this year…

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The Birch Coppice car park was seeded by the Volunteers earlier this year. It’s started to come into flower now, and was giving a welcome food sauce to a Red-tailed Bumblebee, and also a Large Skipper. They were both feeding on the beautiful blue of some Cornflowers…

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You can see a bit more of how the car park border is coming into flower on this photo…

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On Tuesday 14.6.16. Gary sent me a photo of an Emperor Moth Larva. I had a look today, but could not find any. But with the rain a day later, that did not surprise me. Thanks Gary for the photo…

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Great News from Friday!

I would like to thank Sue Jarvis for this next post. I think it would be best if I paste Sue’s email she sent me, to todays post….

Hi Andy,
Thanks for the reply on your blog.
I had read about Clearwings and knew what they where but in 50 odd years of wildlife watching I have never seen one and never expected to. I always thought that they were more prevalent in the south of the country so when I read your blog and saw that you had photographed one on Highgate Common I was very surprised.
When my friend Helen and I visited Highgate on Friday morning  (10.6.16)  there was quite a lot of cloud cover and the insects were pretty quiet, we didn’t start seeing butterflies until mid afternoon. We had only just started to walk down the path across the heath towards the Island Pool when the Clearwing flew in front of me and landed on a grass head. I knew instantly what it was as I had only been reading your blog the day before!
It didn’t stay around long and this is the best of the two pictures that I got but I was able to identify it as a female Yellow-legged Clearwing from the yellow tail fan. Please feel free to submit the record to the Staffs Wildlife Trust along with the photo – I so wished I’d managed a better job but it all happened very quickly!
Your blog and photographs are superb, what a wonderful species record for Highgate Common, I look forward to reading the next entry!
Kind Regards,
Sue.
Yellow legged Clearwing email 1
So we have both a male and female Yellow-legged Clearwing around the Island Pool area of HC.  Great News!!! Thanks Sue!
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10.6.16.

Friday…Hazy sun, and cooler at 20ºC.

The overnight rain quietened down most of the Invertebrates. So it’s not a very large post from today. Even so I did find a very small Tinea semifulvella. This Micro moth is a new species for me….

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Blackcap…

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Poppy….

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Green Sawfly (Rhogogaster genistae). It ripped this small fly to bits in seconds. Not surprising when you look at the jaws it has…

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High Up…Honeysuckle…

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Bee identification is so hard, even with a book. This one was about 8mm long, with a single grey stripe on abdomen. Also it was carrying loads of pollen….

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The moths at work seem to be turning up now with a Poplar Kitten (Top Photo). Miller (Middle Photo), and a Pebble Prominent (Bottom Photo). All taken with Mobile Phone…

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