Tuesday 1st August 2017:
I started today's visit at the Wilden Top car park and on walking the footpath along the eastern edge of the Common I picked up on 13 Greenfinch (4 adult & 9 juveniles) feeding in the adjacent paddock, a good sign that they have successfully bred locally. Also present in the paddock were 3 Pied Wagtails (1 adult ♂ and 2 juveniles).
It was quite a dull overcast day and not particularly productive on the invert front although I did record a single Red Admiral. What was interesting however was to see and photograph a Kite-tailed Robberfly perched with it's hoverfly prey. The species gets it's name from the projecting tab on the last segment which bears a tuft of black hairs. This tab is normally forked and resembles a kite's tail.
Kite-tailed Robberfly (Machimus atricapillus)
Saturday 5th August 2017:
Today I undertook another walk around the Lower Heath side of the Common. I arrived at the site early afternoon as the skies had started to clear following the morning's showers. In one area of nettles I walked through I flushed 3 Mother of Pearl moths. Interestingly, nettle is the food plant of the larvae of Mother of Pearl. I also observed a single Common Carpet moth. Butterflies noted during this visit included 1♂ Common Blue, 2 Small Copper and 2 Small Heath.
Mother of Pearl (Pleuroptya ruralis)
Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata)
As the summer draws on there is more fungi appearing on the Common with 3 Parasol Mushroom and a Mosaic Puffball noted during today's visit.
Parasol Mushroom (Macrolepiota procera)
Mosaic Puffball (Handkea utriformis)
On the bird front it was nice to hear (and then see) a flyover Yellow Wagtail that was heading ENE.
Sunday 6th August 2017:
I only had time for a brief visit to the Lower Heath section of the Common today but was rewarded with another species of robberfly for my site year list in the shape of a Brown Heath Robberfly. This is now the third species of robberfly that I've recorded at the site alongside Fan-bristled and Kite-tailed robberflies.
♀ Brown Heath Robberfly (Machimus cingulatus)