Nature Notes – July 2019

During the early part of the month I was on my travels but on the 9th, when I returned, I had a brief wander around the orchard in the pouring rain and saw a lone Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) defy the elements.

Rosebay Willowherb (Chamaenerion angustifolium) was vying for attention and offering up many glorious spires of purple/pink and some escapee Welsh Poppies (Meconopsis cambrica) along with some blood-red Common Poppies (Papaver rhoeas) grew beneath the shade of a Cherry Tree (Prunus  sp).

On the 10th July 4 Small Skippers (Thymelicus sylvestris) enjoyed the meadow area with Restharrow (Ononis repens) in flower along the outer edges and Creeping Cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans) producing lush lemon blooms near the damper areas.

Near the horse fields a good patch of Perforate St John’s-Wort (Hypericum perforatum) was looking delightful with a lone Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) offering a robust contrast.

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)

The weather was hit and miss during the middle part of the month, on the 18th a Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) was seen near the orchard and 2 Chiffchaffs (Phylloscopus collybita) vocally duelled nearby. A warm spell over the following week was enjoyed and on the 24th I spied a good patch of Yellow Loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris) with its spires of yellow flowers and gold-edge calyx tubes used to make an on-the-spot identification. Nearby was a fine clump of Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) holding aloft some lovely flat topped blooms whilst further along the Meadow Crane’s-Bill (Achillea millefolium) was now going to seed (I know the feeling). The Colt’s-Foot Rust (Coleosporium tussilaginis) was adding its bright orange splashes to the lower surfaces of Colt’s-Foot (Tussilago farfara) leaves. This fungus can be found on a host of species, some of which grow nearby. A surprise was the hoverfly (Xanthogramma pedisequum), a strikingly impressive black and yellow species that is now part of a complex with species status unsure.

The 29th was a day after the rains, Dasineura fraxini; Psyllopsis fraxini; Pontania proxima; Iteomyia major; Diplolespis nervosa; Eupontania pendunculi; Acalitus brevitarsus; Neuroterus numismalis; Andricus curvator; Andricus fecundator and Andricus quercuscalicis were the array of galls seen alongside the river with 2 species of hoverfly noted:- Episyrphus balteatus and Volucella inanis.

2 Peacock (Aglais io) butterflies enjoyed a Buddleia Bush and a Kingfisher (Alcedo athis) darted over the turgid waters. The Mirid Bug (Heterotoma planicornis) was seen on flowering Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) and Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) was now in subtle bloom.

We are very grateful to FP for taking the time to record and send us these nature notes.  He’ll send us his monthly log every couple of months so keep an eye out for them on the website.

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