Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ligia oceanica

Came across this while climbing on the cliffs at Sennen. Largest of the 'woodlice' this is an impressive beast. Scale is hard to convey in the pics but I would say this exceeds the reference maximum of 30mm by some margin. Not sure I like the common name of Sea Slater.

Ligia oceanica

Canon A2100

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mediterranean Gull

Present on the reserve at Ferry Meadows fairly briefly at 17:45 this evening. Provided a good chance to try out the new camera, which on these results doesn't seem ideal for digiscoping.

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus, juvenile

Digiscoped with Canon A2100 and Leica APO77 x20

Monday, July 20, 2009

Insects, King's Dyke

Plenty of insects in spots protected from the wind: Rhingia campestris, Merodon equestris, Eristalis and Syrphus hoverflies; Comma, Red Admiral, Peacock, Common Blue, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper butterflies; Brown Hawker and Common Darter dragonflies. Also had a young Peregrine zip low overhead while watching them.

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta

Peacock Inachis io

Rhingia campestris

Canon A640

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

White Admiral

Several showing rather well at Bedford Purlieus today.

White Admiral Limenitis camilla

Digiscoped with Canon A640 and Leica APO77 x20

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Purple Hairstreak

Noticed this hairstreak flitting about the tops of the elms at the west end of Orton Brick Pits and assumed it was a White-letter until I looked more closely. Not a great picture but it was high in the canopy.

Purple Hairstreak Neozephyrus quercus

Digiscoped with Canon A640 and Leica APO77 x20

Monday, July 13, 2009

Southey Woods

About the same time of year as last year's invasion and here they are again. Found a party of 18 Crossbills along the main ride. Seemed to be quite a few males among them and heard a bit of song.

Crossbill Loxia curvirostra

Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea

Digiscoped with Canon A640 and Leica APO77 x20

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Midwife Toad

We've often heard these in a friend's garden in Oundle but never seen them before. Here a male is carrying eggs persued by a young Common Toad. Although these two are the same size the Midwife is fully grown but the Common still rather young; fully grown it would be twice as large or more. The easiest way to tell them apart (if there were no eggs present) would be the parotoid glands visible as two elongated smooth bulges behind the eyes of the Common Toad. These secrete a neurotoxin to deter predators but are absent in the Midwife Toad.

Both species were out on the garden paths here in the night after a rainy evening but the Midwife Toads were making a lot of noise from all around.

Midwife Toads are introduced and aren't though to be a threat to any native wildlife.

Midwife Toad Alytes obstetricans (male with eggs) and Common Toad Bufo bufo

Caddis fly

Not all that enters a moth trap is lepidopterous. Caddis flies are very common but few are as distinctive and attractive as this one. It might take a little while to get an id.

Edit: Many thanks to Geoff et al for assistance in tracking down the id of this beast. Only a minority of adult caddis can be identified from photos.

Athripsodes albifrons

Canon A640

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Garden Moth ticks

A very uncooperative bunch of moths that proved difficult to photograph but among them were several firsts for the garden. One may be Roeslerstammia erxlebella, which has only 4 records for the vice-county before this year. But another moth'er recently started trapping a little closer to Peterborough has trapped several so far this year.

Others are The Phoenix, Double lobed, Aethes rubigana and Ebulea crocealis. Dark Umber was only the second garden record.

Ebulea crocealis

Dark Umber Philereme transversata

Double Lobed Apamea ophiogramma

Aethes rubigana

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Only the second garden record of Coronet. Golden-rod Pug is a fairly regular garden moth but normally as a melanistic individual determined under the microscope.

Common Footman reached 50 individuals last night, slightly higher numbers than the last 'plague' in 2006.

The Coronet Craniophora ligustri

Golden-rod Pug Eupithecia virgaureata

Sunday, July 05, 2009


This is another garden first. Maple Prominent, July Highflyer and the fimbriolata form of Small Fan-footed Wave are all only second records for the garden.

V-pug Chloroclystis v-ata

Maple Prominent Ptilodon cucullina

July Highflyer Hydriomena furcata

Small Fan-footed Wave Idaea biselata f. fimbriolata

Acleris forsskaleana

Beautiful China-mark Nymphula stagnata

Marbled Beauty Cryphia domestica

Canon A640

Friday, July 03, 2009

Dock Bug and Large Skipper

A couple more insects from Woodston Ponds NR.

Dock Bug Coreus marginatus

Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus

Canon A640

Ladybird Dance

I've seen this behaviour before but not quite as persistently as on this individual at Woodston Ponds NR. I think it is a 7-spot Ladybird emerging from its pupa.

7-spot Ladybird Coccinella 7-punctata

Canon A640

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Large Emerald

A garden first and huge impressive creature.

Large Emerald Geometra papilionaria

The Miller Acronicta leporina

Chilo phragmitella