Friday, 2 September 2016

September Diary 2016 !

21st Sept - Warm sunny morning, the usual Jackdaws and Wood pigeons in the dead tree near to Two ponds with a Stock Dove taking a quick drink from the muddy waters, a few Robins seen along the trails. Two Comma Butterflies seen on the brambles today.

Plenty of young Nursery Web Spiders basking on the nettles once again.

Nursery Web Spiders

This Devil's Coachman Horse Beetle caught my eye as it crossed the gravel track, took up its threat posture as I got too close for a photograph.

Folklore says that you can be cursed if the Devils Coachman points its tail in your direction.

Devil's Coachman Horse Beetle

19th Sept - After a short break in Cornwall it was back to the old routine, not sure if it was my imagination, but there seemed to be more birds on show, a Robin on the fence post near the car park, a few Wood Pigeon, Jackdaws flying over the woods, a Great Spotted Woodpecker calling unseen, Blackbird and Wren seen disappearing into the undergrowth. Leaves are beginning to fall

A few Speckled Wood Butterflies seen but not much else, there seems to be a re-growth of nettles, and the early morning sunshine has attracted a huge number of Nursery Web spiders  basking on individual leaves, and a few Garden or white cross spiders in there webs

White Cross or Garden Spider

Most of the Chicken of the woods fungi has faded away but still plenty of Beefsteak fungi breaking out through the old storm blown trees on the woodland floor. There should be plenty of new fungi starting to appear now as autumn approaches. This one is a bit of a mystery fungi at the moment.


3rd Sept -  Return to the morning walk, sun still shining and very warm, lots of Speckled Wood Butterflies in the woodland and a Small Heath in the glades, a few Common Darter Dragonflies flying around, not much else seen especially on the avian front.

The Cattle making headway through the brambles at the moment which was why they were brought into the woodlands.

1st Sept - An afternoon walk in the late summer sunshine did not produce any Butterflies of note, just a few Speckled Woods, Dragonflies  represented by Migrant Hawkers and a few female Common Darters, much the same as my early morning walks.
An interesting insect of sorts caught my eye, flying into the long grass, at first sight I thought it was a large Bee or Hornet but after further investigation and a closer look at the photograph, it turns out to be a Sexton Beetle, a type of Burying Beetle, the so called undertaker of the animal world.

Sexton Beetle

These Beetles fly well and locate decaying carcases of birds, mice by smell, they have flattened segments at the end of their antennae, which you can see in the photograph which enhances their ability to detect these odours of decay.
Its at these carcases where the male will hope to pair up with a female, other males turning up will lead to a trial of strength.
Once paired up the pair will dig under the carcase burying it gradually where the female will then lay her eggs, the emerging larvae will then feed on the rotting carcass. apparently another  common beetle, but the first I have come across.

Another unusual sighting in the hedgerow alongside the glades was this Hop vine complete with  emerging Hops growing through the blackberry bramble.