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The big catch up (part 2) - September 2017

Friday 1st September - Hillditch Pool:
A very productive visit to the pool today produced a ♂ Ruddy Darter dragonfly, the first one I have ever recorded at the site in many years of visiting.  Other dragonflies observed included 4 Common Darter (2♂ , 2♀), 2 Brown Hawker and 2 Migrant Hawker.  A single Speckled Wood was the only butterfly noted.

The visit was also productive for a range of different invertebrates with 2 Hornets, a 22-Spot Ladybird, a Crucifer Shieldbug and a Corizus hyoscyami bug recorded.  A Vapourer Moth larva was also noted.

Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)
















22-spot Ladybird (Psyllobora 22-punctata)
















Crucifer Shieldbug (Eurydema oleracea)
















Corizus hyoscyami bug
















The Vapourer (Orgyia antiqua) larva
















Friday 1st September - Lower Poolands:
From Hillditch I headed over to the Lower Poolands side of the Common.  The undoubted highlight was seeing 3 Spotted Flycatchers (1 adult & 2 juv) at the edge of the Oak woodland.

Butterflies observed were 8 Small Copper, 4 Small Heath and 2 Red Admiral.  A Silver Y and a Common Carpet moth were also recorded.  3 Hornets were noted.

Sulphur Tuft fungi and Common Earthball were also of note.  A nice example of a Robin's Pincushion gall was discovered on a Dog Rose.

Silver Y (Autographa gamma)
















Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata)
















Robin's Pincushion Gall (Diplolepis rosae)
















Tuesday 5th September - Lower Terrace/Terrace Bank:
Today I undertook a walk around the Lower Terrace of The Common and along the Terrace Bank.  It was a productive butterfly day with an incredible 14 Small Copper recorded,  Also observed during the walk were 3 Small Heath and 1 Small White.  Two Hornets were also noted.

Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)
















Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)
















Wednesday 6th September - Lower Heath:
Yet another good butterfly day on the Common with the undoubted highlight being 4 Small Tortoiseshell that were feeding on the Devil's-bit Scabious flowers.  Also observed were 11 Small Copper, 7 Small Heath, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Large White and 2 Small White

A ♂ Common Darter dragonfly, a queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee and a queen Tree Bumblebee were also noted.

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)
































Friday 8th September - Lower Heath:
Today's visit to the Common was all about the lizards with 5 Common Lizards (2 adult & 3 juv) seen basking together on a large fallen log.  The juveniles were tiny at not much more than an inch and a half long (about 40 mm for you metric types).

Butterflies of note today included 9 Small Copper, 4 Small Heath, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral and a single Meadow Brown.  A single Migrant Hawker was the only dragonfly observed during today's visit.

Common Lizards (Zootoca vivipara)




























































 Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
















Saturday 9th September - Lower Heath:
Today I observed 3 Common Lizards in the Lower Heath area.  Two were basking on the same log as the previous day and a third was at a different area of the Common. 

A Yellow Wagtail flew over calling heading NE and 3 Swallows passed through heading SW.  Two Common Buzzards were up soaring over the Common and a party of 12 Long-tailed Tits were also observed.

Common Lizards (Zootoca vivipara)


















Tuesday 12th September - Hillditch Pool:
On arrival to the pool a Grey Wagtail was picking its way along the edge of the pull in.  Surprisingly this is not a species I encounter often at the site.  A Tawny Owl was heard calling.


On the dragonfly front there were 6 Migrant Hawkers and 3 Common Darter (2♂,1♀) present.  The shoal of Rudd were observed basking near the surface of the pool.

Along the vegetated path an incredible twenty one 22-spot Ladybirds (18 adult & 3 larvae) were recorded.  Also of interest was a Burnished Brass moth that was found at rest in the vegetation.  A Crucifer Shieldbug was also noted.

Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
















Rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus)
















22-Spot Ladybird (Psyllobora 22-punctata)
















22-Spot Ladybird (Psyllobora 22-punctata) larva
















Crucifer Shieldbug (Eurydema oleracea)
















Burnished Brass (Diachrysia chrysitis)
















Wednesday 13th September - Lower Heath:
There were still quite a few butterflies active today with 12 Small Copper, 4 Small Heath, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Speckled Wood and a Small White all noted.  A single Migrant Hawker dragonfly was also recorded.

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)
















Thursday 13th September - Lower Poolands:
Huge congregations of many 100 of Ivy Bees were present in the sandy areas between the low growing heather, with many females observed going into nest holes. 

Also recorded this visit were 3 Small Copper, 1 Speckled Wood and 1 Small White.  A single Hornet was also noted.

Ivy Bee (Colletes hederae)


















Please note:
There are no more entries for September as I was away for the latter part of the month.  The next post will collect my October sightings for the site.

The big catch up (part 1) - August 2017

Well, I am still somewhat out of action due to ongoing health issues but I have decided to use some of my spare time to summarize some of my sightings from Hartlebury Common & Hillditch Pool In a series of 'catch up' posts.  Thus bringing the blog up to date ready for 2018.  So here goes...

Wednesday 16th August - Lower Heath:
A single Red Admiral, 1 Small Heath and a Common Grass Veneer Moth were of note.  Also recorded was a final instar Dock Bug nymph.

Common Grass Veneer (Agriphila tristella)

















Dock Bug (Coreus marginatus) Nymph


















Thursday 17th August - Lower Poolands:
Highlights today were an adult Spotted Flycatcher that was showing well and a ♀ Common Darter dragonfly.  A single Small Heath, 1 Brown Argus and 5 Small Copper were also noted.

Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)


















♀ Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)


















Sunday 20th August - Lower Heath:
5 Common Lizards were observed basking in 5 separate locations.  A ♂ Common Blue, 2 Small Copper, 2 Gatekeeper and 2 Meadow Brown butterflies were noted.  A Bishop's Mitre shieldbug was also recorded.  This was a new species for me!

Common Lizard (Zootoca vivipara)

















Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)

















Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

















Bishop's Mitre (Aelia acuminata)


















Wednesday 23rd August - Hillditch Pool:
It was good weather for dragonflies today with 6 Common Darter, 4 Brown Hawker and 5 Migrant Hawker recorded.  A pair of Migrant Hawkers were also seen in copulation.  Also of interest were 2 Snout moths that were seen at rest on the vegetation.

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

















The Snout (Hypena proboscidalis) 


































Thursday 24th August - Wilden Top Car Park area:
Six Goldfinch were present feeding on thistle seeds next to the main car park.  A single Small Heath butterfly was noted.

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)


































Thursday 24th August (cont'd) - Lower Heath:
A mating pair of Sermylassa halensis beetle were recorded.  This species primarily feeds on Lady's Bedstraw, of which there is large ares on this section of Lower Heath.  Two Small Heath and a ♀ Common Blue butterfly were also of note. 

Scaeva pyrastri hoverfly was also observed.  This species of hoverfly is a migrant species that reaches Britain around June from southern and central Europe, breeding here to give a generation in late summer. 

6 Parasol Mushrooms were also noted.

Sermylassa halensis beetles

















Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) on Devil's-bit Scabious

















Scaeva pyrastri hoverfly

















Parasol Mushroom (Macrolepiota procera)


















Saturday 26th August - Lower Heath:
A warm sunny day made for excellent butterfly conditions with the following species recorded:  11 Small Heath, 5 Common Blue (4♂,1♀), 4 Small Copper, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Meadow Brown, 2 Large White and 4 Small White

Also of note today were a Brown Heath Robberfly and a Bishop's Mitre shieldbug.

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

















Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

















Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

















Small White (Pieris rapae)


















Sunday 27th August - Lower Heath:
Another productive butterfly day with 10 Small Heath, 4 Small Copper, 1 ♂ Common Blue, 1 Red Admiral and 1 Meadow Brown observed.

Also of interest was a Fuligo septica slime mold that was present on rotting tree stump. This has the rather unfortunate common name of Dog's Vomit slime mold due to it's yellowish bile-colored appearance.

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

















Fuligo septica slime mold


















Thursday 31st August - Lower Heath:

The warm weather continued and today's recorded butterflies were 9 Small Heath, 8 Small Copper, 1 ♂ Common Blue, 3 Small White and 1 rather worn Meadow Brown.

Also of note were 1♀ Common Darter and 1 Migrant Hawker dragonfly.  A single Hornet was also noted.

Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)

















♀ Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)