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Monday 31st July

Monday 31st July 2017:
As sunshine and showers were the order of the day weather wise, I decided to take advantage of a sunny spell and check the thistle flowers in at the lower terrace area of the Common to record what may be feeding on them.  It proved a good move as I actually recorded a stunning ♀ Pantaloon Bee on one flower head and a ♂ Pantaloon Bee on another.  With this species it's definitely the female who wears the trousers!

Pantaloon Bee (Dasypoda hirtipes)

Pantaloon Bee (Dasypoda hirtipes)

From the lower terrace I headed over to the SE side of the Common and undertook a walk/mooch from Lower poolands car park.  On arrival at the parking area I picked up on a Flesh Fly that was perched on the fence.

Flesh Fly (Sarcophaga sp.)

The walk itself was quite productive as I observed a basking Common Lizard and recorded 2 Brown Hawker dragonflies, a Southern Hawker and a ♂ Common Blue butterfly.  The highlight though (other than the lizard which are always a pleasure to see if they don't scurry off into the undergrowth) was a diminutive 22-spot Ladybird.  This is the first I have recorded at the site this year.

Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)

22-spot Ladybird (Psyllobora 22-punctata)

As well as the wonderful array of inverts it was a good day for Oak galls as I added three more species to my site year list in Common Spangle Gall, Knopper Gall and best of all Ramshorn Gall.  the latter being a species that was formerly scarce but appears to be on the increase in the county.  Ramshorn Galls are are produced on the buds of oak trees by the wasp species Andricus aries.  This species was first recorded in the UK in 1997 and in Worcestershire in 2013.

Ramshorn Gall (Andricus aries)

Knopper Gall (Andricus quercuscalicis)

Towards the end of my amble around I recorded a rather stunning ♀ Meadow Grasshopper with a lovely pink and green colour form.

Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus)

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