Thursday 13th July 2017:
This afternoon I visited Hillditch Pool. The weather was cloudy with sunny spells but it still felt mild despite the slight breeze. The highlights of the visit came on the bird front when a ♀ Kestrel was wheeling about overhead training 2 juveniles. Also great to see was the Kingfisher that passed through following Titton Brook.
There were only 2 dragonfly species active there today with 3 Brown Hawker and 1 Emperor noted. On the damselfly front I observed Azure, Banded Demoiselle, Blue-tailed, Common Blue and Red-eyed.
The following butterflies were noted: 2 Comma, 1 Small Skipper, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Large White, 1 Small White. Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Ringlet were still fairly abundant.
Both Meadow Grasshopper and Speckled Bush Cricket were observed during the visit.
Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus)
♀ Speckled Bush Cricket (Leptophyes punctatissima)
Saturday 15th July 2017:
A brief visit to the west side of the Common today produced my first immature Common Darter dragonfly of the year at the site.
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) - record shot
On the Knapweed flowers I found an absolutely stunning ♂ Pantaloon Bee (they are also known as the Hairy-legged Mining Bee). These are so called as the female of the species literally has big, fluffy hairs that cover her legs which resemble pantaloons. They use these hairy legs to brush the sand out of nest burrows. The males on the other hand don't 'wear the trousers' so to speak and do
not have such pantaloons on their rear legs, although they are still
quite hairy, distinctive looking bees in their own right.
An image of a female Pantaloon Bee can be viewed at the following link: https://www.hartleburycommon.org.uk/linked/dasypoda%20hirtipes,%20hartlebury%20common.jpg
♂ Pantaloon Bee (Dasypoda hirtipes)
Mooching around in the grasses near the Knapweed I discovered a few spent larval cases of the Burnet moths.
Burnet Moth Larval Case
Butterfly highlights included 2 Small Coppers that were feeding on the flowers of Yarrow.
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)
Also of note were 2 Swifts that flew over heading SW.