Archive for May, 2010

That was May…

Posted in birds, garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, wildlife with tags , , , , on 31 May 2010 by bramblejungle

Despite the cold winter, the good news is that most species that I saw last year are still here; some (like the figwort weevils – maybe that’s not such good news) are doing better than ever, and it’s certainly been a good season so far for the many kinds of solitary bee. Not sure about hedgehogs – I’ve seen some evidence of them around, but not actually spotted a hedgehog. Birds have been breeding as normal, and I’ve seen young dunnocks, great-tits, blackbirds and starlings – and speckled bush crickets. Here are just a few species I hadn’t seen before:

A nightshade flea beetle
Psylliodes affinis - Nightshade flea beetle

A Malachite beetle
Malachite beetle (Malachius bipustulatus)

A Holly Blue butterfly with its wings open
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), f.

And evidence that there are leafcutter bees somewhere near
Evidence of leaf-cutter bees?

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Yellowhammers and another ladybird

Posted in birds, garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , , , on 23 May 2010 by bramblejungle

Hiding in a hedge, but identifiable by its song, was the first yellowhammer I’ve seen round here for quite a few years, and another (hidden but audible) a couple of trees away; I can only guess whether they were calling to each other or claiming rival territories. When I did spot one, the evening sun rendered it as bright as a canary:
Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)
And back home, running across the lid of the recycling bin, I found a ladybird I hadn’t seen before: as small as a 22-spot, it’s the 16-spot, bringing to 7 the number of ladybird species I’ve found so far on the patch. Perhaps they’re fighting back against the Harlequins.
16-spot ladybird (Tytthaspis 16-punctata)

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