Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Appalling Behaviour

We (Pork Pie Posse) decided to visit Bradgate Park to photograph the Red Deer as they should be in full Rut now.
We spotted a small group of Deer in the distance so we made our way towards them but so did every other photographer in the park, they appeared from everywhere.
I couldn't believe what came next, They chased the herd up and down the hillsides in and out of the Bracken just to get a closer shot. I just stood on the main path and watched in disbelief at the idiots, at least 1 of them had compact camera and was trying to get so close he put himself in a dangerous situation with the Stags. I was really hoping that a Stag would turn on him and gore him to death. We also witnessed 2 dogs chase a Buck Fallow Deer, the owner then put the dogs on leads walked a further 200yds and let them off the lead again!! That wasn't an isolated incident with dogs and Deer as I saw at least to other dogs chasing the Deer on different occasions.
I left Bradgate Park feeling very angry.

I think Television Programs like Autumn Watch are partly to blame for this sort of thing. My personal thoughts on these type of TV programs are great for getting people involved with wildlife but I also think that they should strongly advise viewers on how to behave around all wild creatures and a degree of etiquette is needed.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Camberwell Beauty - Deans Lane

I had a Camberwell Beauty fly strongly NW over Deans Lane at about 12.05 this afternoon. I had stopped off for a break and to see if there was any raptors moving... more in hope than expectation. It was sunny and warm with a few scattered clouds and a moderate SW breeze.

The insect flew over my head, so I first picked it up about 2ft above my head and about 4ft in front of me. It was clearly a large Vannessid but about 10% bigger than a Peacock. Underside was blackish with a pale broad border to the sides of fore and hind wing except the leading edges. As the butterfly flew north it followed the hillside down remaining about 6 - 8 ft off the ground so the Upperwing became visible. This was a dark maroon with the pale border being a yellowish white with two small 'tails' on the hind wing. A row of blue spots was also clearly noted inside the border on all wings.

The butterfly was in view for less than a minute as it powered NW interspersing glides with a series of fast wing beats.

No other butterflies were noted on this track only a few whites flitting around the grassy hill side.


Has anyone else noticed that our Chestnut Trees have been hit very hard by Leaf Miners this year. I have seen this infestation on a few trees in previous years but not to the extent that it is this year. I have been looking at the trees since early June and all the trees I have seen look as if Autumn has come early for them.

I have travelled up and down the country from North Cumbria and as to South Dorset any every Tree I have seen has been affected. Not a single Tree seems to have escaped this infestation from the Leaf Mining moth named Horse Chestnt Leaf-miner Cameraria ohridella. One thing that I have noticed and it’s the same pattern on every infected tree I've seen is that the infestation is heavier in the lower branches and gets less intense higher up the trees regardless of the height of the trees.

From Mark Rossell

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Garden Safari

You don't have to go far to find new things that you'd never heard of before - like this bug I found in the garden today whilst looking at wasps .

Deraeocoris ruber
Deraeocoris ruber - or at least I'm pretty sure that's what it is.

I thought all the garden wasps were Common - but realised today that I'm getting a form of Median Wasp ..

Median Wasp
Median Wasp

Also loads of these in the garden:

Episyrphus balteatus
Episyrphus balteatus

And a couple from the moth trap.

Burying Beetle - Nicrophorus investigator
Nicrophorus investigator - a smelly mite-ridden burying beetle

Oak Bush-cricket
Oak Bush-cricket

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Common Hawker - New Lount NR

Mark Rossell today confirmed Common Hawker at New Lount. He recorded two males and a female. I wonder if the species is finally colonising VC55?

Monday, 26 July 2010

Forest Bug

This Forest Bug is another moth-trap incidental, turned up last night in my garden trap.

Probable Common Hawker - New Lount NR

This arrived in my inbox from Ian Merrill via Dave Gray. I thought it deserved posting on here... I'll try and follow this up at some point this week.

Hello Ian,

I have been at New Lount Nature Reserve SK3918 today and saw amongst others species 2 male Common Hawkers,
Aeshna juncea.
They were patrolling the eastern pool around midday when the sun was out.
A large hawker constantly patrolling the pool, chasing the four spots and even holding it's own with the Emperor.
I got a good size comparison with Emperor, Southern and Brown Hawker.
I got views down to 5m through binoculars (10x). Narrow yellow thoracic side stripes, blue abdomen spots on body held straight.
Unfortunately I could confirm a yellow costa but the wings had a brown suffusion.
Thought I would let you know so you can have a look tomorrow if the weather is OK.



Broad-leaved Helleborine - Cloud Wood

If anyone is interested in Broad-leaved Helleborine at Cloud Wood SK 417214 they just about as good as they get now. This was our third visit to Cloud Wood in the last 4 weeks to get some photos of this species and today we think we got it right.

Something that I noticed when I was photographing them today if you look at the close up photos carefully there is a difference between the Petals, colour and shape. I can’t help wondering if there are two different types in Cloud Wood??

Obviously I am no expert at this but maybe someone could let me know about the differences between them.

Mark Rossell

Sunday, 25 July 2010


Hello all,

I've added a link to the iSpot website. If you find something you can't identify then post it on here and either other members of the iSpot team from the Open University will help.


Barnack Hills and Holes NNR

I know Barnack Hills and Holes (TF 076047) isn’t within VC55 but it’s only a couple of miles the other side of Stamford and worth a visit to see the Chalkhill Blues. I visited the site today and never left the car park as there were 18 of them getting minerals from a dried out puddle. I watched them for an hour and a Brown Argus kept on returning to the same puddle. All the Butterflies I saw today were in pristine condition and very easy to photograph.

Mark Rossell

Monday, 19 July 2010


This was in my garden moth trap last night:

Some sort of land bug, possibly one of the 'stilt bugs' similar to Berytinus minor. Anyone got any ideas?

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Frog Orchids at Merry's Meadow LRWT

Hi all, just to let you know I found five Frog Orchid spikes a couple of days ago at Merry's Meadow LRWT reserve.
This is currently the rarest orchid to be found in the county, as it only occurs at this site.
If you would like more information of were the orchids are can you email me!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Greater Butterfly Orchid at Cloud Wood LRWT

Hi all, just to let you know the Greater Butterfly Orchids( Platanthera chlorantha) at Cloud Wood LRWT are now in flower.
If you would directions for these orchids please email me.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Small Purple and Gold

Two or three on the Sage Salvia officinalis this afternoon.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Broad-bodied Chasers

If anyone is after photographing Broad-bodied Chasers then the Egleton reserve at Rutland water is an excellent site for them at the moment. Check out the Summer walk behind lagoon 2 for tenerals and the small pond close to Dunlin hide on lagoon 4 for territorial males.
The above image were taken there last Friday.


After much persuasion I've relaunched the VC55 Wildlife blog. I was having problems on Wordpress getting people joined up as members and able to post. Hopefully this won't happen here.

VC55 Wildlife is intended as a place to post wildlife news - flora and fauna that may be of interest to others... it doesn't matter what it is - post. Birds are generally well catered for on the LROS website so only interesting or photographable birds please.

Remember to always put the interests of wildlife first and check that you are not putting species at risk. Also ensure that you are aware of who owns the land if putting out news.

Finally, why not share some of your photos with us? I hope you enjoyed your visit.