Sightings – June 2006

Moth News (Late June, contributed by Robert Homan)

The warm weather and southerly winds at the end of June produced many interesting moth records, including migrants such as this Bordered Straw:

Bordered Straw, a migrant moth from S Europe, Cheltenham, June 2006 (R Homan)

and these spectacular Privet Hawk-moths:

Privet Hawk-moths, Whittington, June 2006 (R Homan)

Sudmeadow (27 June, contributed by Gordon Avery)

The discovery of at least 5 Pyramidal Orchids today was a first for this site in many years recording.

Lesser Emperor Dragonfly in the Cotswold Water Park: First Attempted Breeding! (20 June, contributed by Gareth Harris)

The Lesser Emperor story of the Cotswold Water Park continued to unfold in 2006! After a single sighting of a male in 2005 (at Lake 26, Wilts) 2006 has produced a bumper crop of sightings.

First sighting was on the 12th June; a male was found patrolling some margins at some active mineral workings in the Western section of the CWP (site undisclosed for health and safety reasons) (Steve Covey, GH).

This was then followed by a tentative sighting at Swillbrook Lakes (Lakes 46/48, Glos) on the 16th July (Nick adams, Reserve Warden), followed by confirmed sightings by Damien Pinguey and Steve Covey on the 17th. This male stayed around long enough for a female to find him, and the pair were observed ovipositing in tandem (a characteristic of this species) on the 19th July.

A visit to nearby lakes shortly after observing them ovipositing, resulted in the discovery (by Steve Covey) of another male, whilst also at the same time, Chris Walker, Senior Ranger found a male at Keynes Country park (Lake 32, Glos/Wilts)!

As of today, (20th) yet another male was found on a private lake near Somerford Keynes whilst the male was still present at Keynes Country Park, on the southern shore of Lake 32.

Even allowing for individuals moving around, there are clearly several individuals here. It would be worth checking any of the lakes in the area as you are likely to find your own Lesser Emperor! So why not come and have a look!

Syreford and Sevenhampton (18 June, contributed by Robert Homan)

Most striking today were the two fields of poppies near Syreford easily seen from the road to Sevenhampton. Also a Painted Lady and a nest of a bumblebee species, probably attacked by a badger, on the edge of Sevenhampton.

Syreford and Sevenhampton, June 2006: Poppies and bumblebee and nest. (R Homan)

Saintbury (18 June, contributed by David Anderson)

A Turtle Dove calling early in the morning.

Hawling area (13 June, contributed by Andy Jayne)

The highlights of a cycle ride from Roel Gate/Hawling to the Huntsmans Quarry area today were a Hobby, two Redstarts, six Tree Sparrows and 15 singing Corn Buntings.

Insect News (12 June)

The warm weather in early June has brought a spate of insect records. Roger Gaunt left two traps at The Wilderness, Mitcheldean overnight on Wed/Thurs of last week. On opening them up early on Thursday morning, he found a Bird’s Wing moth, among many others. This is the first record since 1986, and that was the first for many years. On Friday morning Roger tried some new pheromones in Cinderford Linear park, and had one White-barred Clearwing. This is a new site for this species. There were also four and possibly six Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries.

In Cheltenham on the evening of 11th June there were 30 Silver Y moths feeding on valerian flowers in Swindon Lane. Several members have reported the tiny migrant moth Plutella xylostella Diamond-backed Moth in the last few days.

Coombe Hill (10 June, contributed by Robert Homan)

The floods noted by Mike Smart have now receeded, but the water has left a large amount of blanket weed, especially on the northern scrape. In the afternoon on the scrapes, there were 12 Mute Swans, 11 Greylag Geese, 1 Canada Goose, 3 Curlews flew over and there were at least 8 Lapwings, including one that showed some defensive behaviour suggesting some breeding success.

Coombe Hill, June 2006: Mute Swans and a ‘Fig Gall’ Tetraneura ulmi (R Homan)


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