Mermaid Track, Rufus Castle, St Andrews Church and Pennsylvania Castle Wood
After weeks of drought and hot sunny days, the heavens finally opened last night and early this morning. The rest of the day felt considerably cooler and very welcome, especially as the cloud cover didn't budge apart from the occasional break when the sun tried to come out but disappeared as the cloud rolled in off the sea.
Apart from the lack of any "blue" butterflies, it was very much the same with dozens of Marbled Whites
on the wing. There appears to be fewer Meadow Browns
about, however what was noticeable were several Gatekeepers
flitting about in the brambles.
It's quite noticeable how butterflies appear at different times throughout Spring and Summer. In fact today I saw quite a few Red Admirals
, especially on the Buddleia, which seem to have burst into flower over night.
No Small Tortoiseshells
about, but I did get one Peacock
. Also seen were 2 Large Whites
and a Small White
On my walk I came across at least 4 Silver Y moths
, 2 Mother Shipton's
, 3 Six-spot Burnet Moths
and one moth
to ID. I also came across a caterpillar
suspended by a thread, not sure if its moth caterpillar or that of a sawfly.
As always many bees about, especially Red-tailed Cuckoo-bees
). They are very numerous on Portland. Also about good numbers of Common Carder Bee
) and Small Garden Bumblebee
A Common Wasp
) was seen in the grounds of St Andrew's Church and in Penn's wood I came across the smallest ichneumon wasp
I have ever seen. If indeed it was one. At least I managed a couple of photos of it!!
The cooler weather saw an increase in hoverflies
especially Marmalade hoverflies
). Also recorded were Long Hoverfly
), Chequered hoverfly
) and a new species for me a Helophilus trivittatus
The first time in ages I came across 2 Bloody-nosed Beetles
), unfortunately only one live one.
Other bugs and things recorded were Common Red Soldier Beetles
), Dark Bush-cricket
), Common Field Grasshopper
), Common Green Grasshopper
), Harlequin ladybird
), Common Green Shieldbug
3rd instar nymph (Palomena prasina
), what I think is one of the Tenebrionidae
- Darkling beetles
) and one very odd beetle-looking bug
I need to ID.
Here are a few images from this afternoon:
A Gatekeeper with wings closed.
Another wings open.
A Meadow Brown
And another worn specimen this time.
A few Red Admirals out now.
Long Hoverfly (Sphaerophoria scripta
This is the Hoverfly, Helophilus trivittatus
. Told by its very lemon coloured side patches. More on this hoverfly Here
A moth sp.
And one of those hanging caterpillars.........
.........which eventually dropped onto a leaf. Moth or Sawfly I'm not sure.
Common Green Grasshopper (Omocestus viridulus
And a sequence of photos showing the great effort this Bloody-nosed Beetle took in its efforts to get to the the top of this grass stem.
Up he goes........
.......and then decides to head back down.........
......before changing its mind........
........and decides to climb to the top.
A Common Red Soldier Beetle.
Common Green Shieldbug 3rd instar nymph (Palomena prasina
Well I'm stumped on this one. What ever it is it moves at lightening speed.
A possible Lagria hirta.
More on this beetle Here
Well I thought this was a small fly and I mean small. But when it took off.........
.......I was surprised to see that it wasn't a fly, but probably the smallest ichneumon wasp
I have ever encountered. If indeed its an ichneumon!