Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Moth improvement!

Last night I put my stronger moth trap up and had a better catch than yesterday, including a couple of new species for the patch:
Heart and Dart 2
Shuttle-shaped Dart 4
Seraphim 1 (my first ever! Interestingly its food plant is Poplar - there are one or two in Montpelier)
Grey/Dark Dagger 1
Vine's Rustic 1 (First ever - difficult to ID but likely to be this species)
Willow Beauty 1
Tachystola acroxantha
Codling Moth Cydia pomonella
Plume Moth sp.
Light Brown Apple Moth
Seraphim


Coddling Moth

Grey/Dark Dagger and probable Vine's Rustic

Heart and Dart



Plume Moth

Shuttle-shaped Dart

Tachystola acroxantha

There were a couple of spiders attracted to the trap - a Philodromus (Running Crab Spider) and a Pholcus phalangioides (Cellar Spider).
Pholcus phalangioides

Philodromus

Nothing new at the station this morning - a Woodlouse on the wall looks like Common Rough Woodlouse.
Probable Common Rough Woodlouse



Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Rose Chafer!

My first Rose Chafer on the patch this morning - on Red Valerian along the path to the station - I love these guys. Nearby a Nursery-web Spider waiting for its breakfast. Four distant Swifts seen through binoculars beyond the TV mast.
Rose Chafer


Nursery-web Spider

My moth trap produced just three moths this morning and one of them escaped so I was left with a Willow Beauty and a lovely Buff Ermine. Also in the trap was an Ichneumon Wasp - probably either a Netelia or Ophion species.
Buff Ermine

Willow Beauty

Ichneumon Wasp

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Spiders, hoverflies and Starlings!

This morning at the station I was checking the wall for spiders and found a Theridion sp., a small blackish spider with a pale pattern on its abdomen. I thought it might be an odd-looking Zygiella at first but the spider experts on Facebook put me right. Nearby a Myathropa florea hoverfly was on  Hogweed near the tracks and a Marmalade Hoverfly was basking on some Ivy. I could hear baby Starlings calling but couldn't  see them. Oh well, maybe tomorrow...
Theridion

Marmalade Hoverfly

Myathropa florea


Saturday, 11 May 2019

Swifts!

This morning at the station there were at least 4 Swifts seen distantly by focussing my bins on the TV mast and scanning the skies. I hope I get to see more of them this summer but they are sadly declining.

I would so love to cross the railway line near the tunnel and have a rummage amongst the vegetation but as I'm a law-abiding citizen I have to make do with binoculars. It's surprising what you can see through them when looking for insects - there was a Myathropa florea hoverfly, a Yellow Dung Fly, a Thick-thighed Flower Beetle, a Large White butterfly and a Green-veined White all seen through my bins!
Large White

Myathropa florea

Green-veined White

Yellow Dung Fly and Thick-thighed Flower Beetle

Friday, 10 May 2019

Narroways!

A lovely morning on the reserve, with lots of baby Long-tailed Tits everywhere! Also a couple of Ravens, a fly-over Jackdaw, a pair of Jays, calling Bullfinches and singing Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs.

Jay

Young Long-tailed Tit

Insect highlights included a Cream-spot Ladybird (my first!), Harlequin Ladybirds, mating Green Shieldbugs, a Speckled Wood, and some Oedemera sp. beetles. Hoverflies included Syrphus sp., Dasysyrphus tricinctus, Myathropa florea, Marmalade Hoverfly and Helophilus pendulus. Also an attractive Ichneumon, a sleepy Common Carder Bee and a Yellow Dung Fly .
Cream-spot Ladybird

Dasysyrphus tricinctus

Marmalade Hoverfly

Helophilus pendulus

Oedemera beetles

Myathropa florea

Syrphus hoverfly
Yellow Dung Fly

Green Shieldbugs

Common Carder Bee

Back in Montpelier there was a Nomad Bee along Fairlawn Road.
Nomad Bee

In St Andrews Park the highlights were a family of Magpies and 3 Large Red Damselflies - my first of the year. Also a couple of Holly Blue butterflies near the pond. Hundreds of Toadpoles were in the pond.
Large Red Damselfly

Young Magpies

Toadpoles


Monday, 22 April 2019

Moths!

I put up the moth trap last night and was delighted to find some moths this morning (I never raise my hopes too much). Some of them were new species for my flat:
Shuttle-shaped Dart
Brindled Beauty
Hebrew Character
Knot Grass
Brimstone
Muslin Moth
Common Quaker
Brindled Pug
Double-striped Pug
Light Brown Apple Moth

There was also a 10-spot Ladybird and a Green Lacewing!
Brindled Beauty

Brimstone

Brindled Pug

Double-striped Pug

Hebrew Character

Knot Grass

Light Brown Apple Moth

Muslin Moth

10-spot Ladybird

Common Quaker

Shuttle-shaped Dart