It may well be just the result of a certain character trait that means I obsess over ‘new things’, but I am getting seriously hooked on this whole ‘panrecording’ thing. I’m starting to feel like I’m furtively sneaking out the back door with my camera rather than holding my head proud and just enjoying myself while the sun shines though. I’m guessing it’s because our finances are still more or less in the toilet, and while I might love peering through hedges or bending double over a patch of deadnettles to see what’s hiding away inside them that doesn’t pay the bills. I think it should, but it doesn’t.
Still it’s very hard to resist wandering around Great Chalfield when there’s just so much to see, most of it doubtless ‘stuff’ that I’ve walked straight past over the years (which makes it all the more galling to be looking at them now that I can’t afford the new guidebooks and keys I now want). I mean have a look at the photos below – all of which were taken in the last few days – and tell me you wouldn’t get slightly obsessed too (though perhaps you’re lucky enough to just get on with things without diving in so deeply you always risk banging your head on the bottom of the pool):
a longhorn beetle typically found on/around Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium.
a blue lacewing that feeds on aphids.
a fairly large and distinctive cuckoo bee of the Hairy-footed Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes.
Red-and-black Froghopper Cercopis vulnerata:
An unmistakable species, and one of the UK’s largest homopterans.
Bramble Sawfly Arge cyanocrocea:
seen around hedgerows and foraging on umbellifers such as Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium.
a common Plantbug found on a range of vegetation.
a mirid bug common throughout the UK and associated mainly with nettles.
a rhopalid bug widely distributed in southern Britain, this was found on low vegetation along a field edge.
Sloe/Hairy Shieldbug Dolycoris baccarum:
Common and widespread in many habitats throughout Britain, particularly hedgerows and woodland edges, becoming scarcer in the north.
Forget-me-not Shieldbug Sehirus luctuosus:
a small terrestrial shield-bug “probably overlooked due to its rather unobtrusive habits“.
The most notable thing about the species above is probably the fact that I’d not even heard of any of them until (in some cases) today. Whilst googling ‘blue sawfly’ took me to Chrysopa perla, the majority of identifications I’ve made lately have come via three remarkably useful sites, all of which have huge numbers of photographs and data: Eakring Birds, the birds and invertebrates of Eakring and Sherwood Forest NNR maintained by Trevor and Dilys Pendleton (emphasis on invertebrates); British Bugs, an online guide to UK Hemioptera maintained by Tristan Bantock & Joseph Botting; and NatureSpot, a registered charity (1138852) working in partnership with other organisations concerned with the conservation of biodiversity in Leicestershire and Rutland.
All photographs copyright Charlie Moores/Talking Naturally. Similarly the identifications are (mostly) my own – if you see any errors I’d be very grateful to know. Thanks.