Area surveyed – Sidings Orchard, grassland up to the old railway bridge and the adjacent dipping pond.
On the 2nd Bird’s Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus); Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum) and Germander Speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys) pushed out their first flowers and added a nice splash of colour and it was highly gratifying to see 9 Hairy Shieldbugs (Dolycoris baccarum) pootle about on the large glossy leaves of Horse Radish (Armoracia rusticana).
On the 8th, by coincidence, 8 Orange Tips (Anthocharis cardamines) were noted still hanging on after a good season it seems.
On the 13th a Malachite Beetle (Malachius bipustulatus) was picked out and on the 15th a flitting Mint Moth (Pyrausta aurata) was an unexpected find.
The 17th saw me have a mooch around the pond beneath the pylon and adjoining grassy area. The first 1 Common Blue Butterfly (Polyommatus icarus) was joined by the moths Ancylis badiana, a Diamond Back Moth (Plutella xylostella) and a surprising Small Yellow Underwing (Panemeria tenebrata). A Large Red Damsel (Phyrrosoma nymphula); 5 Swollen Thigh Beetles (Oedemera nobilis); 1 Tachnid Fly (Gymnocheta viridis); 1 Green Lacewing (Chrysopa perla); a Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum); a Red Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus lapidarius); a Hoverfly (Cheilosia pagana) and the ladybirds:- 7 Spot; 14 Spot and Harlequin were all noted. A Great Pond Snail (Lymnaea stagnalis) was an aquatic extra.
On the 25th a solid hour within the confines of the orchard brought some good rewards, the highlights being 5 hoverfly species:- Cheilosia illustrata (*4); Platycheirus rosarum (*1); Merodon equestris (*1) and Myathropa florea (*1) as well as 2 Tortoise Bugs (Cassida rubiginosa), a Tachnid Fly (Tachina fera) and several other insects.
The best find was the weevil (Phyllobius robertanus), a new one for me and showing there is always something to uncover. Yellow-Rattle (Rhinanthus minor) was in glorious flower too and Common Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium) was providing great landing platforms for many bugs.
On the 28th 6 Common Blue Butterflies frequented the meadow and the Crane-Fly (Epiphragma ocellare) was a joy with its highly ornamented wing venation.
On the 30th 2 White Barred Gold Moths (Micropteryx aruncella) were good quality and ended the month on a high.
We are very grateful to FP for taking the time to record and send us these nature notes. June notes are also available now. He’ll send us his monthly log every couple of months so keep an eye out for them on the website..
A note for your diary. If you have a keen interest in nature join FP on a walk around the site on the morning of Monday 5th August. See the events page for details.