So what’s been happening this week, well this week has been a bit of a mixed week. the weather been good the insects have started to drop off but the birds have picked up.
Monday at about 4pm saw a large flock of House Martins’ over the car park probably on now on their way south, a pair of Buzzards over the nearby wood during Tuesday lunch break, as the week went on a Grey Wagtail was on the overflow pond, Woodpigeon’s and Black headed Gulls in the nearby field once again, Robins and Wrens are back in song.
A few Butterflies hang on Large Whites, Small Copper, Speckled Woods and Gatekeepers are still around. The Ichneumon Wasp can still be found in the grass areas along with a few Hoverfly species [Eristalis pertinax and Marmalade being the most numerous] I did find a new hoverlfy this week taking the total now to 21 , this being a Syrphus ribesii. Another new find this week was a Hawthorn Sheildbug [Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale] taking the sheildbugs to a nice 4. Other species still around were Nettle tap Moths, Sawflies and Common Froghoppers.
Other new things this week are Oak galls these are caused by gall wasps, the first found this week were Oak Cherry Galls these grow on the underside of the Oak leaf and are caused by the Cynips quercusfolii gall wasp. The gall develops from a yellowy green colour thru to a dark red, cherry like. The grub in the gall may remain with the gall when it falls into leaf litter and then emerge as a wasp in mid-winter.
The second is the Common Spangle gall this is also caused by a wasp this one being Neuroterus quercusbaccarum, the gall is a small and round and is attached to the underside of the Oak leaf. The galls remain with the leaf as they fall as leaf litter where they over-winter. Female only wasps will then emerge in spring and lay eggs in the male only catkins. In June these will give rise to larvae which will develop into male and female insects and again the female will lay eggs on the underside of the leafs which develop into the Spangle galls, and the circle of life continues
Oak Cherry Galls
Oak Common Spangle Gall