Week 45

Great week on the bird highlights with some great clear sunny days this week.

Firstly great to see the Siskin flock back in good numbers with the odd Goldfinch thrown in. Common Buzzard sightings occurred on two days this is week and a Kestrel was seen flying around with kill in its talons.

Blue Tit (in good numbers), Great Tit, Robin, Jays and Blackbirds out in the woods  but fields but alas no winter thrush as yet, nice also to catch up with a couple of Treecreepers,  there was also a pair of Bullfinch.

However NuthatchGreat Spotted Woodpecker and Pheasant were all heard this week but not seen.

Dunnocks, Robin, Blue Tit could all be seen around the birdtable area

A good busy week in all and good to see some returning winter birds

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Week 44

Little of note this week even thou weather has been fine a dry with temps around about the 12° mark.

Bird highlights this have included a Great Spotted Woodpecker, heard tapping and calling but not located for descent views only giving brief flight views. Common Buzzard was heard calling and again not located. Long tailed Tit flocks are about but nothing in with them at the moment. Few Blackbirds on site at the moment, hoping these will attract Redwings in again.

Other Highlights this week,  still a few Ladybirds about and a single Spiked Shieldbug was found among the bramble

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Ladybird

On the high wire

Week 43

Rain, Holidays and Illness have kept me away from site for a few weeks, it felt good to be back on the play ground once again.

Bird highlights this week have been few with Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Heron on a fly thru and a couple of Common Buzzards standing out. Out and around the table were Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit and Nuthatch

Insects are also diminishing with only harlequin ladybirds being of note, these invasive ladybirds can be found mainly on fence posts

 

Fly Species

Fly-05016

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

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