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