Monday, 26 March 2018

Weekend Round-up

Dotted Chestnut - Warnham Local Nature Reserve
A busy weekend around all the sites meant that there was lots of fantastic wildlife reported. Starting off with the moth trap at Warnham Local Nature Reserve which has finally started to get some results after the Beast From The East part 2 hit us last week! The best moth of the weekend was the Dotted Chestnut (Conistra rubiginea) which is nationally scarce and always nice to see in the traps. It is one of the few moths that hibernate after first being on the wing in October/November before reappearing in the spring. The second moth of note which we don't trap very regularly at Warnham is the Grey Shoulder-knot (Lithophane ornitopus) which can be seen below. It is quite similar to the more common Early Grey (Xylocampa areola) but the former is generally paler with the dark antler marks at the head end helping with identification. This is also an interesting moth as its larvae have a tendency to be cannibals!
Grey Shoulder-knot - Warnham Local Nature Reserve
The ringing has been very quiet at Warnham lately and there have been very few opportunities to actually get any of the nets up on the Reserve either due to windy conditions or flooding so it was nice to be able to catch a few birds this weekend. The highlight was this Greenfinch which was the first of 2018. They have been very few and far between in recent years which is a theme carried out nationwide sadly as many of the Greenfinches seem to be struggling to beat some of the avian diseases found in the UK.
Greenfinch - Warnham Local Nature Reserve
Meanwhile at Chesworth Farm I added a new fly to the species list when I found the larval mine of Chromatomyia ramosa on Teasel. This is part of the agromizid fly family, all of which mine leaves of various plants. The adults are very difficult to identify and most of them need genitalia examination to be sure of their identity but many of the leaf mines are quite simple to recognise. In the picture below you can see the light coloured markings which are moving away from the central vein. These are caused by the larvae of the fly eating the leaf from within the leaf structure itself.
Chromatomyia ramosa on Teasel - Chesworth Farm
Finally at Southwater Country Park a quick check of the oldest stand of Blackthorn on the site produced a number of the scarce Brown Hairstreak eggs. They are absolutely tiny so I make no apology for how bad the picture is! This is the second site we have found the eggs at this winter after the Friends of Chesworth Farm found some earlier in the month when carrying out a hedgerow survey on the Farm.
Brown Hairstreak Egg - Southwater Quarry

1 comment:

  1. The brown hairstreak butterfly has beautiful colors when they are adults. Brownish with a little orange also. These are great photos. Gets you excited that spring is finally here. Thanks for the share.
    World of Animals