In Area 2 around the rear of Tesco, 2 Swallow were feeding low over the Horse Paddocks. Meanwhile in Area 8 Paul O'Neill saw approx 50 Swift high over Winnersh Arboretum at 20:30.
In Area 9 at Bluebell Meadows a Green Woodpecker was busily feeding its hungry offspring (the mottled one) at lunchtime. Blackcap and Chiffchaff were also heard calling.
A continuous stream of Juvenile Starling were visiting the fat feeders in my garden this morning .A family goup of 1 Adult and 5 Juvenile Blue Tit were seen later in the day again visiting the feeders and being shown what to do by the parents.
Whilst Balsam Pulling off Molly Millars Lane in Area 3 this morning a Swift was flying overhead with several Herring Gull, which I believe breed somewhere in the area.
To the rear of Morrisons in Area 5 this morning a calling Oystercatcher was seen and heard heading S. By Ripplestream Bridge a family party of Blackbird comprising 2 Adults and 3 Juvenille, were feeding in the open space. 2 Mistle Thrush were also in the area. By Dragonfly Bridge a family of Nuthatch were moving through the riverside trees, feeding on the way.
A Tawny Owl was calling at 03:00 near Old Forest Road, heard by Paul O’Neill
At 09:00 a Hobby was seen flying E-W between Old Forest Road and the M4 and 3 Whitethroat were all singing at the same location and seen by Paul O’Neill.
In Area 5 this afternoon a Kingfisher was seen flying from the river over the open space heading towards the back gardens of Arthur Road.
This morning, early in my Area 5 garden a Magpie was preening in the early sun. Later in the day a party of 7 screaming Swift were heard and then seen.
Flying low over my Area5 garden a solitary Swift was feeding in the early afternoon. Later in Area 10 a Hobby was seen flying by the car park field by Paul O'Neill.
A Moorhen was heard calling from the river in Area 5. Meanwhile in Area 4 a Bullfinch,Blackcap and Chiffchaff were all heard singing/calling by Paul Bright Thomas.
In Area 5 a Song Thrush was singing by the river.
In Area 10 at lunchtime , dark skies kept the feeding Swifts lower over the Dinton Activity Centre and the Emm Brook.At least 50 were seen, meanwhile earlier in the day 120+ had been seen by Fraser Cottington.
The day dawned a bit brighter and so I walked to work along the Emm Brook, a Kingfisher was sitting on a branch downstream of Dragonfly Bridge. Before flying further downstream.
Along the river were calling Chiffchaff , Greenfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker and on the recently mown grass a Mistle Thrush was looking for worms.
A wander around Gorrick Woods (Area 1) this morning only turned up a calling Hobby flying over the woods at 06:30. However over the road at Heath Lake, it was a different story.
On the lake were numerous Coot including one nesting individual,an Egyptian Goose,a Moorhen , 2 Mute Swan ,numerous Mallard of varying parentage, a pair of Tufted Duck,3 noisy juvenile Grey Heron sitting on a tree branch on the island, looking like the 3 Stooges and a Great crested Grebewith 4 juveniles.
Flying over the lake were 10+Swift , 2 Swallow and a solitary Black headed Gull .At 13:00 in Area 8 Paul O'Neill saw a female Kestrel flying between the M4 and Old Forest Road.
In Area 5 at lunchtime a
Common Buzzard was being hounded by a Carrion Crow .A Moorhen was calling from the river. Earlier in the day the usual suspects were seen including Robin , House Sparrow , Greenfinch and Chiffchaff
In Area 8 off Old Forest Road, Paul o'Neill saw 2 Whitethroat and 5 Chiffchaff including juveniles by the Emm Brook.
The Car Park field, off Sandford Lane in Area 10 was checked today . Another Butterfly and another first for the year, this time a
Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus. This brings the total Butterfly species seen this year to 16.
Back at Bluebell Meadows, Winnersh in Area 9 again today at lunchtime .Most of the Butterflies were waiting for the sun to emerge. However on the flowers of Scabious, the day flying moth 6 Spot Burnet Melanarga galathea was busily feeding , numerous Small Skipper Maniola jurtina and Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina butterflies were also present . What I believe to be Field Grasshoppers Maniola jurtina were seen and heard.
Lunch time today was spent at Bluebell Meadows, Winnersh in Area 9. There were a lot of Butterflies on the wing. Marbled White Melanarga galathea was a first for the year , with a lot of Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina and Skippers .
The moth trap was on again last night. Catch highlights so far are a Burnished Brass Diachrysia chrysitis, more to follow.Also seen whilst Balsam Pulling along the Emm off Molly Millars Lane in Area 3 this morning were male and female Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo and butterflies of Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina , Comma Polygonia c-album and Skippers .
A flying lunchtime visit to the Area 10 Car Park field with my sweep net produced my first Grasshopper of the year in the shape of a Meadow Grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus.
Braving the afternoon heat today in Area 5 I visited the riverside vegetation . A Caspid Bug Grypocoris stysi was on the Nettles.A conspicuous bug found widely throughout the UK. The adults and larvae feed on both flower heads as well as small invertebrates such as aphids.
The chequered pattern of light yellow-white areas and striking orange-yellow cuneus make confusion with other species unlikely.
The moth trap went on last night in my Area 5 garden. The list of Moths caught is as follows:
Small Magpie Anania hortulata , Peppered Moth Biston betularia , Willow Beauty Peribatodes rhomboidaria , Straw Dot Rivula sericealis
, Common Footman Euema lurideola, Snout Hypena proboscidalis , Blood Vein Timanda comae , Riband Wave Idaea aversata , Swallowtail Moth Ourapteryx sambucaria , Bright-line Brown-eye Lacanobia oleracea , 2 Elephant Hawk-Moth Deilephila elpenor , Annia coronata ,the Grass moths Crambus pascuella , Agriphilla straminella and Chryseteuchia culmella the Micro Moth Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana , Heart & Dart Agrotis exclamationis , Green Pug Pasiphila rectangulata , Marbled Minor Oligia strigilis , Brown China Mark Elophila nymphaeata , Dark Arches Apamea monoglypha , Buff Arches Habrosyne pyritoides , The Fan-foot Herminia tarsipennalis and Clouded Border Lomaspilis marginata . I was assisted with ID help and trap emptying by Holly and Connor Swift .Meanwhile around my pond an Immature Female Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum Dragonfly kept returning to a Buddleia bush.
Seen in Area 5 was this large and conspicuous hoverfly with pairs of upward curving creamy-white bars. It is a
Pied Hoverfly Scaeva pyrastri.
Found on the windowsill inside the house in Area 5 was this moth Common White Wave Cabera pusaria.
This is a white moth with 3 distinct and silver grey lines across its forewings and 2 lines across its hindwings.It is seperated from the CommonWave which has curved and brown lines.
Insect life was checked in 3 different areas of the Emm today in Area 5 the male and female of the Grass Bug Leptopterna dolabrata , these two are easily told apart by their striking differences. Also seen was the Hoverfly Chrysotoxum cautum and the Common Nettle Capsid Liocoris tripustulatus and a Garden Chafer Phyllopertha horticola on riverside vegetation. .
In Area 10 in the carpark field was my first
Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina Butterfly for the year along with hundreds of Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum . Meanwhile in Area 8 (Blackberry Gardens ) the day flying moth Burnet Companion Euclidia glyphica was seen.
It is at this time of year with not a lot happening on the Bird migration front that a young mans interest, quite naturally turns towards Entomology. With this in mind I ventured out in Area 5 this morning with the intention of giving all the sunlight flora a good inspection along the Emm Between Dragonfly and Ripplestream Bridge. I was not dissapointed seen were the Butterflies Painted Lady Vanessa cardui , a first for the year and Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria .
On a riverside tree was a female Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo another first for the year. A Red legged Shieldbug Pentatoma rufipes nymph was seen, sometimes referred to as a Forest Bug.
On the Nettle patch was a Nettle Ground Bug Heterogoster urticae . Also seen were the Hoverflies Syrphus ribesii and Helophilus pendulus.
Somewhere today probably Area 10 I managed to pick up a Acorn Weevil Curculio glandium as a passenger
Thanks to Jon Cole for his help in ID'ying this Dagger fly, seen by Ripplestream Bridge as a female Empis livida . The males of this species have cloudy coloured wings whereas the females are clear.
By the Area 5 pond at lunchtime and seen were Azure Damselfly Conaegion puella , Large Red Damselfly Pyrhosoma nymphula and a Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Agapanthia vilosovridescens beetle. Althogh I was unable to get a satisfactory picture, the beetle is very distincitive. Another photo opportunity was also missed with an elusive Dragonfly that I was unable to identify
Area 10 and the Dinton Activity Centre at lunchtime came up with a Swollen thighed Flower Beetle Oedemera noblis.It is only the male of this species that has the very obvious swollen hind femora (the upper part of its back legs). Particularly active on hot and sunny days, the Swollen-thighed Beetle feeds on pollen and so is easy to spot, its iridescent coppery green hue contrasting strikingly with the more delicate flower colouring.
Down by Ripplestream Bridge in Area 5 several small fish were seen, as yet unidentified.
A Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus was again in my Area 5 garden just before midnight.
On my Area 5 garden webcam only the rear end of a Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus was caught scurrying across the patio .
In the longer grass of Bluebell Meadows, Winnersh in Area 9, there is a large amount of the sweet smelling Ladys Bedstraw Galium verum and Musk Mallow Malva moschata .
Wandering around the Area 10 car park field I came across Bird's-foot-trefoil Lotus corniculatus
One of the more evocative names for Common Bird's-foot-trefoil is 'Granny's Toenails' which gives an instant, and perhaps not-so-pleasant, impression of the claw-like seed pods of this abundant and sprawling species. Other common names include 'Butter and Eggs', 'Eggs and Bacon', and 'Hen and Chickens' which refer to the egg-yolk yellow flowers and reddish buds. Widespread and found in all kinds of grassy places . Common Bird's-foot-trefoil can be seen flowering from May to September.
Sloe the fruits of the Blackthorn Prunus spinosa are just starting to appear on the riverside bushes in Area 5.
In Gorrick Woods Area 1 it is no suprise on this former heathland that Heather Calluna vulgaris can be seen in bloom.
Around the Area 5 pond currently is a sea of Ox-eye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare
Following the overnight rain a
Black Slug Arion ater agg was slowly moving through the vegetation in Bluebell Meadows.
In Area 5 an Amber Snail Succinea putris was hanging around on riverside vegetation.