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Week 39

Little activity on the bird front and butterfly action is now down to one species the Speckled Wood which is now seen only in single figures twos and threes

The real action this week is still down to Spiders and Shieldbugs. There is now a lot of Garden Spiders hanging around the hedgerows and bramble patches, Havestman or Daddy long Spiders (which are not really Spiders) can also be seen.

Shiedlbugs about, plenty of Common Green and Spiked, the Spiked being the focus of my attention this week for photos

The Spiked Shieldbug usually overwinter as eggs and less frequently as larvae, becoming adult by July/August. The nymphs are greyish-black with pale banded legs and yellow banded antennae. Like the adults, they are predatory, feeding on the larvae of other insects, particularly caterpillars but will also suck sap from plants.

Spiked Shieldbug

Spiked Shieldbug

Harvestman

Huntsman

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Week 38

Turned out to be a good week maybe due to a warm sunny start to the week.

Birds found this week included a fly thru Sparrowhawk, with a Common Buzzard circling high over the nearby woods, a Grey Wagtail fly over the top car park late Monday night, down in the woods were Great Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch doing the rounds. Supporting cast this week were Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long tailed Tit, Bullfinch, Blackbird, and Wren

Butterflies were a few Speckled Wood and another fly thru Red Admiral on Tuesday

On the insect front still lots of Common Green Shieldbugs about in various stages 4th and Final Instar can be seen along with the Adults. I also managed to find a Spiked Shieldbug this week, nearly trod on it, a nice adult, my 2nd find for site

The star find for me this week however, and new to site,  a very striking Common Sexton Beetle. A distinctive beetle with orange bands on the back, the picture below shows the species along with a couple of mtes. These mites play an important role for the beetle, riding piggy back to the beetles food source, the Sexton Beetles will bury small dead birds or mice and lay eggs on the carcass.  The young feed on the rotting flesh.  The Mites feed on fly eggs and maggots, from the dead carcass thus protecting the Beetles young and giving the beetles offspring more flesh from the carcass

Sexton Beetle

Common Sexton Beetle

Week 37

A better week on the bird side with a good movement of Swallows and House Martins going thru on passage. Around the table were Nuthatch, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit and nice to see a Coal Tit again, Bullfinch was heard but not seen but on the other hand Jays were noisy all week and could be seen flying from one part of the wood to another.

Butterflies around this week were mainly Speckled Wood in good numbers but also the addition of a couple of Red Admirals was a welcome sight.

The main highlight this week was the finding of a Adult Birch Shieldbug, the adult form being a first on site sighting for me, found amongst the many Common Green Shieldbugs…and of course plenty of Garden Spiders about along with a few Harvestmen

Birch Shieldbug

Birch Shieldbug

Week 36

Another week were the weather once played a big part in getting out and about relying once again on only two lunch breaks.

Bird highlights were little with a Kestrel at Monday over the top car park. Out in the wood Nuthatch was once again calling.

The week was again held up by Common Green shieldbugs and Garden Spiders along the hedgerows

Common Green Shieldbug

Common Green Shieldbug

Week 35

Another dismal week and again only managing a couple of dinner breaks out when the weather brightened.

Bird highlights this week were Blackbirds, Robin, Nuthatch, Blue and Long tailed Tit.

Butterflies hanging on this week were down mainly to good numbers of Speckled Woods with a few Green veined Whites still around

A few Spiders were about bringing in the signs of the Autumn season and with them a few Green Shieldbugs have made an appearance this week

The highlight this week goes to a hoverfly a Chrysotoxum bicinctum seldom seen in these parts, so a nice find

Chrysotoxum bicinctum

Chrysotoxum bicinctum Hoverfly

Week 34

Another very wet week resulting in me only managing one lunch break out, but it did yield a new site species.

Birds on the day was a noisy Nuthatch and a few Jays. Butterflies included many Speckled Woods, and Green veined Whites but the highlight of the week goes to a Southern Hawker Dragonfly which eventually did settle in the bramble patch and of course at the top end the furthest point, a new species for site

Southern Hawker

Southern Hawker

Week 33

Highlights of the bird activity this week was a Grey Heron over the top car park, a Great Spotted Woodpecker flying over the nearby field, Nuthatch was heard calling again along with Bullfinch. Around the birdtable were Great and Blue Tit with a few Robins

 

Butterflies this week on the days that brightened up were still a good numbers of Gatekeeper and Green veined Whites, lesser numbers of Speckled Wood, Peacock, Small Skipper and a single Meadow Brown

 

Green veined White

Green veined White