Sightings – July 2006

Coombe Hill (25 and 28 July, contributed by Robert Homan)

Indications of the effects of the heavy rain in the early part of the summer are the broods of 8 Tufted Ducks and 2 Coots on the scrapes with another 2 broods of Tufted Duck and 1 of Coot visible from the Long Pool Hide. Dragon/Damselflies included Black-tailed Skimmer, Brown and Southern Hawkers, Ruddy and Common Darters and Emerald Damselfly.

Black-tailed Skimmer basking in sunshine on bare mud at the edge of the Snipe Pool, Coombe Hill, July 2006 (R. Homan)

Coopers Hill (27 July, contributed by Gordon Avery)

A Hobby circling over the nature reserve in the afternoon.

Port Ham, Gloucester (23 July, contributed by Andy Jayne)

This afternoon there was a Little Egret, a Sparrowhawk, a Hobby, a Peregrine, a Common Sandpiper, a Kingfisher and two Whinchats (adult and juvenile).

Dragonflies included Emperor, Black-tailed Skimmer, Broad-bodied Chaser and Ruddy Darter. Also one Clouded Yellow.

Purton area (22 July, contributed by Gordon Avery)

1 or 2 Brown Hawkers were seen opposite the Timber Ponds. There were at least 3 Mandarins on the canal and a Meadow Pipit was seen food carrying along the foreshore.

Coombe Hill (20 July, contributed by David Anderson)

This Musk Beetle (Aromia moschata) was seen on Meadowsweet next to the Osier bed on the path to Grundon hide today.

Aromia moschata, Coombe Hill, July 2006 (D Anderson)

Witcombe Res. (19 July, contributed by Gordon Avery)

An adult Hobby seen beating up the local dragonfly population plus an adult Dabchick with a stripy headed juvenile. The first time that breeding has been proved here.

Frampton Gravel Pits (18 July, contributed by Juliet Bailey)

Plenty of dragon and damselflies, including Common Blue Damsel Enallagma cyathigerum, Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum, Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, Southern Hawker) Aeshna cyanea, Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum.

The photo shows a Ruddy Darter in a typical pose, resting on a sunny post amid lush vegetation. Frampton, 2006 (Marie-Helene Le Roux).

Maisemore and Ashleworth area (16 July, contributed by Andy Jayne)

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was seen at Maisemore today. Also a Hobby over Stonebow Farm, Ashleworth and the same or another at Haw Bridge.

Coombe Hill (14 July, contributed by David Anderson)

C.50 Lapwing, 1 Curlew, 3 Buzzard, 4 Green Sandpiper, 3 Grey Herons, 1 Little Egret, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Blackcap, 1 Sedge Warbler, 3 Reed Warbler were seen either by the canal or at the scrapes. Among the butterflies were 1 Comma and 2 Red Admiral by the canal. There was a Brown Hare to the south of the canal.

Sudmeadow (14 July, contributed by Gordon Avery)

In the morning an adult Common Tern flew south over Sudmeadow. The sunny weather produced a good showing of Gatekeepers. These were supported by reasonable numbers of Marbled Whites, Red Admirals, Peacocks, Meadow Browns, Small Skippers and Commas.

Cheltenham (5 July, contributed by Robert Homan)

The micro-moth Cameraria ohridella has reached Cheltenham. The spread of this tiny insect across Europe is an amazing story. In essence the first record of the moth was from Macedonia in 1985 and since then it has moved westwards and eastwards, colonising much of central and eastern Europe by 2000. It reached the UK in 2002 and the evidence suggests that the pattern of rapid spread has continued with the first Gloucestershire record in 2005. The mines in Cheltenham were found along the Chelt Walk near the Waitrose supermarket car park which ties in with the thinking that the moth’s spread might be assisted by vehicles. Indeed one suggestion for new records is to look at Horse Chestnuts growing in areas with many lorry deliveries – a supermarket perhaps!

The fungus Guignardia aesculi causes brown blotches on chestnut leaves and is very widespread. The mature leaf mines are, however, quite distinctive and look like small fried eggs. More details can be found on this Forestry Commission Exotic Pest Alert.

Cameraria ohridella mine in Horse Chestnut, Cheltenham, July 2006 (R Homan)


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