Saturday, 3 September 2016

Short stroll around Cranford Park

It was only a short two hour visit to the patch this morning. I've had a tough couple of weeks at work, and consequently am very tired, but I'm committed to completing the butterfly transect so made my way to the park hoping for good weather.
The sun was out when I arrived at 10.30, but within 30 minutes it became cloudy, and just as I had finished the transect and was walking back up the 'drive' it started to lightly rain.
Hence the butterfly count went from a very good start to a very poor finish.
Today's tally: 24 butterflies (compared to 62 last Saturday and 87 the previous Saturday)
5 species
3 Green-veined White
3 Red Admiral
3 Comma
12 Speckled Wood
3 Meadow Brown
There have been lots of dragonflies recently, but not many have been obliging enough to settle for a photo shoot. This morning my luck was in and there was a male Migrant Hawker perched at a good level, and looking to be happy to stay for a while....

I had put my clipboard down on top of one of the orchard fence posts to get the above photos, and when I went to pick it up I found I had a little 'helper'......

a Common Darter....

After last weekends many sightings of Dock Bugs, today it was the turn of the Green Shield bugs....

Every one of them was at the 4th instar stage. In a week or so these will change to the final instar, then they will become adults.
On the way home I checked the green metal gate by the Roseville Road alleyway, and again found several Harlequin ladybirds in both pupation and emerged adult form.
I also found another damaged one (just like the one I found a couple of weeks ago in the same place) and can only conclude they had pupated somewhere on the posts, maybe a 'crease' where one post joins another, and during emergence the wings have hardened against the metal and become deformed.....

It was very much alive and running around eating aphids that had dropped from the overhanging branches. Sadly it will never fly though, and will soon become easy prey for a bird.
I didn't see the Kingfisher today but I did see Red Kite, two Kestrels, Common Buzzard and Green Woodpecker. There were also several fairly large mixed flocks of Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest moving through the woods.

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