9.6.16.

Thursday…started morning with light cloud and 17ºC

Snout…

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Brown Silver-line. There are loads of these at the moment. Counted over 100 yesterday…

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This looks like a very dark Rosemary Beetle. But I’m checking this out…

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Unidentified Micro Moth…

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Going to try to photograph more Bees, so as I can look through my new bee identification book…

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These are my best photos of a Ruby-tailed Wasp…

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One of the many Mirid Bugs. I will try to find this particular one…

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Common Blue…

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Thick-kneed Flower Beetle…

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Orchid…

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The Poppy field is looking better everyday…

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Large Skipper…

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Saw my 1st Silver Y this year…

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One of my favourite Beetles is the Dead-nettle Leaf Beetle. Also nice to see the future looks bright….

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8.6.16.

Wednesday…Sunny morning and 22ºC

I would like to start todays post off, by saying…Although I know a lot about general wildlife, I’m not an expert in every wildlife field that exists. I’m asking people if they see an identification I have got wrong…Please Please let me know. It would be very much appreciated.

Epithecia satyrata satyrata…

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Overnight rain quietened down most things early morning. Like this Mother Shipton amongst the wet grass…

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Tetragnatha extensa, not sure I’ve seen this colour variety of Stretch Spider…

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Green Orb Spider with packed lunch. I think it’s a Flesh Fly with it’s abdomen sucked dry…

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Helophilus pendulus or you can use it’s common name….Sun Fly and it’s certainly been flying in the sun the last few days…

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These Tadpoles look on the large size. But they do appear to be normal Common Frog tadpoles albeit well fed…

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Me and Ken spotted two Dragonflies that had freshly emerged. This one still connected to it’s cast. At first I thought this one was a Common Darter. But looking at my photos at home a bit closer. I think they are both Broad-bodied Chasers….

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This one was drying out in the sun. I took the 2nd photo, about an hour later. Seeing the change in colour is another amazing bit of wildlife watching…

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Having this new 1:1 macro lens, and knowing the Dragonfly wasn’t going anywhere. I could not resist a close up….

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I saw 6 Green Hairstreaks today, all doing acrobats in the air. Only this one landed…

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Birch Shielbug, with the X-Factor…

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This is the 2nd colour variety of Honeysuckle we have on HC…

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Finished yesterdays post off with 2 Large Red Damselflies being passionate. Today it’s the turn of 2 Azure Damselflies to keep the HC population going…

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7.6.16.

Tuesday…Sunny morning..21ºC.

I had an unsuccessful morning using my other Clearwing Pheromones. But there were plenty of natural pheromones in action on HC. I will highlight them in action.

Common Yellow Conch (Agapeta havana) on Wardens wall…

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This Common Toad did not want it’s photo taking, and kept turning the other way. So decided to get down to ground level and sneak up on it. I ended up almost nose to nose…Or nose to lens…

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I think this was the first lot of natural pheromones on display. These 2 Small Magpies were holding there wings up (they usually hold them down) and spinning on the car park sign…

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Also in an unusual position was this Green Carpet. I don’t think I have ever seen the underside of this moth…

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Clearwing Pheromone hanging above Birdsfoot Trefoil…

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Large Skippers are getting more numerous now…

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The second natural pheromones at work. This pair of Small Heath did acrobatics in the air for ages…

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It’s one of my favourite times of the year, when the woodland smells absolutely beautiful, form the very fragrant Honeysuckle…

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Scoparia ancipitella….

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Soldier Beetle (Cantharus pellucida)…

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Unidentified Gall…

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My first Harlequin Ladybird this year…

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I always try to take photos of Carpet Moths, just because of the small differences of a large family of moths. This one was a Silver-ground Carpet again…

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Dog Bug…

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Sawfly (Rhogogaster)…

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I enjoyed seeing this event unfold. I was taking a photo of a Green Hairstreak, when a Honey Bee decided it wanted to feed on the same Bramble flowers. It ended with the Honey Bee coming from behind the Green Hairstreak and giving me a rarely seen view or photographed upper side of it’s wings, albeit blurred with wing movement…

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Wasp Beetle (Clytus arieltis)…

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There is still a Four-spotted Chaser (Top Photo) and a Broad-bodied Chaser (Bottom Photo) having a few aerial battles on the Island Pool…

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The last photo of the day, and also the last natural pheromones I saw at work today. These 2 Large Red Damselflies hanging out together…

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6.6.16.

Monday… Bright sunshine and 20ºC early morning.

I only had time for a short visit today, and met Ken to see if we would be lucky enough to spot another Clearwing (Ken unfortunately missed out yesterday). There was no sign of a Clearwing, but in exactly the same young Oak Tree there was a very smart looking Red-necked Footman. Starting to feel a bit of affinity to this special little Oak Tree now. Also the need to protect it…

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This is more of my usual view of a Yellow Shell…way down in the grass…

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Back at the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Wardens Office, there was a (my 1st of the year) White Ermine…

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Lastly a Cream Wave…

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5.6.16.

Sunday… Started the day off with 17ºC and ended it with 24ºC. Very disappointed with start to the morning after weather forecast was for a sunny warm day.

Must start with the highlight of a Magical Day at HC. I had posted on my Facebook HC group page, that with the forecast for a warm sunny day, I was going to try out my Clearwing Pheromones. Must admit this was more in hope than expectation. Arriving on HC it was overcast and only 17ºC, which sent my hopes right down. Never the less I hung out the 2 Pheromones on a Birch and an Oak. I left them there and decided to do my Butterfly survey, and hoped by the time I had finished survey the sun and warm conditions had arrived. Luckily by the time I had finished survey it was really sunny and now above 20ºC with very little wind (Ideal Conditions). Unfortunately when I checked the Pheromones there was no sign of any Clearwings. So after 2 trials last year I packed the pheromones away. Then I had my 1st bit of luck… I was just thinking about going home for my dinner, when I bumped into Jon Moore, who was looking for Green Hairstreaks to photograph. So I decided to stay longer and show Jon 3 areas where Green Hairstreak had been seen this year. The 2nd bit of Luck was that Gary Pascoe (HC Volunteer) phoned me, and asked if he could join us on our walk. I always think the more eyes the better. So after about half an hour of looking and photographing different invertebrates, we had to pass where I had earlier hung the pheromones. I was about 5 metres in front of Gary, when he called me back. When Gary showed me what he had found…My Eyes lit up…It was only a Yellow-legged Clearwing. This was not the species I had targeted with Pheromones, but it was one of the Clearwings that is attracted to the VES Pheromone I hung out. But after trying years to see any Clearwing…I was really ecstatic. It allowed all three of us really close to take photos. It was also only 6 feet away from where I had earlier hung pheromone on Oak tree. Strangely Gary spotted it on a 2 foot young oak tree. For people who don’t know, this is actually a moth…

Thanks Gary for a brilliant spot…

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Now back to the rest of the day in Chronological order. Which would have still been a great day without the above Clearwing…

Cinnabar….

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This Small Heath was the 1st Butterfly on my survey this morning. Which ended with me seeing Small Heath, 2 Peacock, 2 Large Skippers, Large White, Green-veined White and a Common Blue. The other Butterflies below weren’t on the survey itself…

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On the Dog Pool there was the 1st Azure Damselfly I have seen this year…

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Peacock…

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I do believe this is Scambled Egg Slime Mold…

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I often wonder how some butterflies get so well worn in the early spring/summer days. This 1st of the year (for me) Common Blue was certainly well worn…

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Orchid (not sure which one). In the Bee Meadow…

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Unidentified Micro Moth…

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This is yet another 1st for the year…Mother Shipton…

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1st of the year….Grass Rivulet…

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1st of the year….Silver-ground Carpet…

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The Fox and Cubs is coming into flower now….

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Poppies in the next field to the meadow…

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I have got out of focus photos of this Four-spotted Chaser watching this Large Rose Sawfly as it passed in front of it. This was the only one with Sawfly in focus…

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Large Skipper…

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Not 100% perhaps Jon Moore could help me out. But I think these are all Rupela maculate… Longhorn Beetles…

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We saw 3 Broad-bodied Chasers today. The top photo is of an immature male, just getting it’s blue colour. Never seen this stage before….

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I think Gary will correct me on this next photo. But all I can say is that I think it’s one of the Blood Bee’s…

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This Common Lizard also gave us a great show, and time for all 3 of us to get photos…

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Yet another 1st of the year for myself, was this Painted Lady. We actually saw 2, with one closer to the car park…

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To top the day off, Jon found a Green Hairstreak to photograph. Yet again we found a very obliging individual, so we all got photos…

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I Dream of Days like Today!!!! BRILLIANT!

 

 

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4.6.16.

Saturday..Overcast and Muggy…20ºC.

It’s always a highlight to find a new moth, that I have not seen before. So I was very happy when I spotted this Middle-barred Minor. Also it will be easy to identify next time I see it, due to the Middle Bar which gives this moth It’s name…

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About this time last year, I lost count at how many Engrailed there were. This year I’m pretty sure this is my first one…

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Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)…

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Nice to see the Yellow Shell’s emerging now. One of my favourite more common moths at HC. Also very hard to pass the chance of a photo, when they show, like this one did in a Gorse bush…

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There were quite a few of these Empis tessallata flying round the Island Pool…

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I have got two ambitions when it comes to Longhorn moths. One..to get both Antennae in focus. Second to photograph one flying. Today I achieved the first ambition of getting both Antennae in focus. The problem is they usually either hold them to wide for the depth of field for the camera…or the wind blows them everywhere. Todays Longhorn is a Nemophora degeerella… The second photo from the side shows the problem of getting both antennae in focus…

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There are plenty of Scorpion Flies now…

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Pine Tree in flower…

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Two nymphs now, both only 2-4mm in length (Body only). Also good to compare the Antennae of a Grasshopper to a Cricket. I’m not an expert, but I think the first two nymph photos are a Meadow Grasshopper. The third photo is definitely a Speckled Bush-cricket. This is the smallest Speckled Bush-cricket I have ever seen….

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3.6.16.

Friday…Mostly hazy sun. 20ºC

I didn’t go over HC today. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been keeping my eye open for wildlife. At home our outside light has never attracted many moths. But last week we put a new bulb in it. So imagine my delight when it attracted two Hawk-moths.

The first on Wednesday was a Lime Hawk-moth…

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The second was a moth I’ve wanted to take a photo of for ages. It’s the well named Eyed Hawk-moth. Having taken it several times with wings closed, I suddenly wondered how I could get it to show those beautiful underwing eyes from which it gets it’s name. Also it had to be something that did not harm the moth. The method I used was to slap wall 6 inches in front of it.  It does this to scare any potential predators off….

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Add to that the Poplar Hawk-moth I saw at the Wardens Office on the 25th of May, I think I’ve had a good couple of weeks with the Hawk-moth family….

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Now all three for a comparison….

 

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