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The big catch up (part 2) - September 2017

Friday 1st September - Hillditch Pool:
A very productive visit to the pool today produced a ♂ Ruddy Darter dragonfly, the first one I have ever recorded at the site in many years of visiting.  Other dragonflies observed included 4 Common Darter (2♂ , 2♀), 2 Brown Hawker and 2 Migrant Hawker.  A single Speckled Wood was the only butterfly noted.

The visit was also productive for a range of different invertebrates with 2 Hornets, a 22-Spot Ladybird, a Crucifer Shieldbug and a Corizus hyoscyami bug recorded.  A Vapourer Moth larva was also noted.

Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)

22-spot Ladybird (Psyllobora 22-punctata)

Crucifer Shieldbug (Eurydema oleracea)

Corizus hyoscyami bug

The Vapourer (Orgyia antiqua) larva

Friday 1st September - Lower Poolands:
From Hillditch I headed over to the Lower Poolands side of the Common.  The undoubted highlight was seeing 3 Spotted Flycatchers (1 adult & 2 juv) at the edge of the Oak woodland.

Butterflies observed were 8 Small Copper, 4 Small Heath and 2 Red Admiral.  A Silver Y and a Common Carpet moth were also recorded.  3 Hornets were noted.

Sulphur Tuft fungi and Common Earthball were also of note.  A nice example of a Robin's Pincushion gall was discovered on a Dog Rose.

Silver Y (Autographa gamma)

Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata)

Robin's Pincushion Gall (Diplolepis rosae)

Tuesday 5th September - Lower Terrace/Terrace Bank:
Today I undertook a walk around the Lower Terrace of The Common and along the Terrace Bank.  It was a productive butterfly day with an incredible 14 Small Copper recorded,  Also observed during the walk were 3 Small Heath and 1 Small White.  Two Hornets were also noted.

Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

Wednesday 6th September - Lower Heath:
Yet another good butterfly day on the Common with the undoubted highlight being 4 Small Tortoiseshell that were feeding on the Devil's-bit Scabious flowers.  Also observed were 11 Small Copper, 7 Small Heath, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Large White and 2 Small White

A ♂ Common Darter dragonfly, a queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee and a queen Tree Bumblebee were also noted.

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)

Friday 8th September - Lower Heath:
Today's visit to the Common was all about the lizards with 5 Common Lizards (2 adult & 3 juv) seen basking together on a large fallen log.  The juveniles were tiny at not much more than an inch and a half long (about 40 mm for you metric types).

Butterflies of note today included 9 Small Copper, 4 Small Heath, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral and a single Meadow Brown.  A single Migrant Hawker was the only dragonfly observed during today's visit.

Common Lizards (Zootoca vivipara)

 Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

Saturday 9th September - Lower Heath:
Today I observed 3 Common Lizards in the Lower Heath area.  Two were basking on the same log as the previous day and a third was at a different area of the Common. 

A Yellow Wagtail flew over calling heading NE and 3 Swallows passed through heading SW.  Two Common Buzzards were up soaring over the Common and a party of 12 Long-tailed Tits were also observed.

Common Lizards (Zootoca vivipara)

Tuesday 12th September - Hillditch Pool:
On arrival to the pool a Grey Wagtail was picking its way along the edge of the pull in.  Surprisingly this is not a species I encounter often at the site.  A Tawny Owl was heard calling.

On the dragonfly front there were 6 Migrant Hawkers and 3 Common Darter (2♂,1♀) present.  The shoal of Rudd were observed basking near the surface of the pool.

Along the vegetated path an incredible twenty one 22-spot Ladybirds (18 adult & 3 larvae) were recorded.  Also of interest was a Burnished Brass moth that was found at rest in the vegetation.  A Crucifer Shieldbug was also noted.

Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)

Rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus)

22-Spot Ladybird (Psyllobora 22-punctata)

22-Spot Ladybird (Psyllobora 22-punctata) larva

Crucifer Shieldbug (Eurydema oleracea)

Burnished Brass (Diachrysia chrysitis)

Wednesday 13th September - Lower Heath:
There were still quite a few butterflies active today with 12 Small Copper, 4 Small Heath, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Speckled Wood and a Small White all noted.  A single Migrant Hawker dragonfly was also recorded.

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)

Thursday 13th September - Lower Poolands:
Huge congregations of many 100 of Ivy Bees were present in the sandy areas between the low growing heather, with many females observed going into nest holes. 

Also recorded this visit were 3 Small Copper, 1 Speckled Wood and 1 Small White.  A single Hornet was also noted.

Ivy Bee (Colletes hederae)

Please note:
There are no more entries for September as I was away for the latter part of the month.  The next post will collect my October sightings for the site.


  1. Great to see you are back Jason and with some super species and images!
    Spring is around the corner and we can look forward to seeing a few of the species you post about!

    Wishing you good health and plenty of great sightings in 2018!

  2. Very interesting post, I pop to the common now and then but never manage to see much, I shall have to try ahrder.