17 Jun 18

Pennsylvania Castle Wood, St Andrews Church and Rufus Castle

The reverse walk of yesterdays. Still very windy and today it was wall to wall cloud and the occasional spot of drizzle. Not ideal for bug hunting, but I did find a few.

Heading down through Penn's wood I came across 4 juvenile Chaffinches and 2 juvenile Wrens. Though I wouldn't be surprised if there were many more juveniles Wrens lurking in the bushes and undergrowth. They are very adept at losing themselves when they want to.

Also here a few Swollen-thighed Beetles and what I first believed to be a Syrphus vitripennis hoverfly as opposed to Syrphus ribesii. However and thanks to Edmund Mackrill for pointing it out, the amount of black on the hind femur isn't black enough to be S. vitripennis, and is most likely S. ribesii. What is confusing is that all the hoverfly sites I checked out, stated that the hind femur on ribesii is all yellow, which when you look at their accompanying images isn't true and look more like mine with a small amount of black showing.

What I first though was the hoverfly Syrphus vitripennis isn't and is most likely Syrphus ribesii. S. vitripennis would be a lot blacker than on "mine".

In the grounds of St Andrews Church I was amazed to discover that all the Mullein caterpillars had disappeared. I searched all the neighbouring plants, but they had definitely gone. Were they really ready to pupate or did someone help themselves!

On the steps halfway between Rufus Castle and Church Ope Cove I came across a really bizarre looking spider with warts. Well that's what they look like. In fact if you look really close-up the "warts" are........view image below!!

On my shortcut through to Wakeham, I came across several Common Carder Bees and what I believe is a Bombus hortorum (Small Garden Bumblebee). However bees as you've probably seen already are not my best forte.

Also along here I came across the nymph of a Speckled Bush Cricket, another Marmalade Hoverfly and one of my favourite flies the Semaphore Fly, Poecilobothrus nobilitatus

Images as seen en-route.

One of the 4 juvenile Chaffinches sat in a Horse Chestnut Tree.

A short video of one of the juvenile Chaffinches.

A Swollen-thighed Beetle on a Dog Rose.

A different flower head and is most likely the hoverfly, Syrphus ribesii.....

............as opposed to Syrphus vitripennis. Read notes above.

Yesterday afternoon this plant was full of Mullein caterpillars. Today they have all disappeared! I looked around at neighbouring plants, but they have vanished. I can't believe they have all decided to pupate and I do feel that human intervention has played a part in their disappearance.

Now there are spiders and there are spiders. However this one looks like its mimicking a Toad with all those warts on its abdomen. What species is it, I have absolutely no idea and I can't find a match anywhere. However.................

..........they aren't warts, but baby Wolf Spiders on the mothers abdomen. The mother carries the spiderlings for several weeks before they are large enough to disperse and fend for themselves. Wolf Spiders are probably the only spiders to carry their young on their backs for any period of time.

A Marmalade Hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus

I'm not brilliant at identifying bees, but I'll have a go with Bombus hortorum. Please feel free to correct me! turns out I was right.

A Speckled Bush Cricket nymph, Leptophyes punctatissima

One of my favourite flies, the Semaphore Fly, Poecilobothrus nobilitatus 

And another Marmalade Hoverfly.