News of wildlife and other issues

Council tidy-up destroys local wild-flowers

Following my visits to the Green Man roundabout flower-show (see here), I'd walked along Whipps Cross Road towards the Hollow Ponds, and enjoyed a similar experience just by walking along the new shared-use track which lies parallel to the road. Cyclists passed and a few walkers - noticing my interest and camera - even stopped and said how wonderful and colourful it looked.

Whipps Cross Road 120704 20459artColour by Whipps Cross RoadThe new track is separated from Whipps Cross Road (extremely busy Whipps Cross Road, with buses, lorries,cars and ambulances in abundance) by a metre-wide strip of soil - just as colourful in flower as the strip and embankment the other side of the track which separates it from Leyton Flats. Along both sides were the yellow of crucifers, whites of daisies, purple of vetch, red of poppies... With all that - and growing up to about a metre high - the roadside verge served as a nice barrier between the wheels and fumes of vehicles and the pleasures of pedestrians and cyclists.

gmr 120704 20427artLocal naturalist Kathy Hartnett showing a family from Rhode Island some of the wildflowersThen, a couple of days after my visit, the following message was circulated to members of the Epping Forest Outdoor Group:

"With the insertion of a cycle path alongside the road between Green Man and Whipps Cross Lea Bridge roundabouts a narrow strip of rough soil was exposed and brilliant colourful wild flowers flourished. It was a real delight.

But… while still in bright flower the whole lot is being tidied, mown, municipalised, controlled and made dull. There was no threat from predatory people being able to hide in bushes... the flowers were not tall or thick enough for anyone to lurk without being seen by passing traffic.

Do the people that sanctioned this have souls? Now the council will have a mowing cost - these same council who claim to be short of money. Only a few poppies and daisies remain around trees now, and they will be soon strimmed away. Then tidy bored children can sit and look at the tidy boring grass and plan their next riot... as life is deadly dull and colourless.

Whipps Cross Road 120704 20467artJust before the final road-side verge was cut...Somebody will have targeted the contract, but these things can be re-negotiated and bad practices can change; the flowers could have been cut at appropriate times in a planned way for nature conservation management.

Why not go in the reverse direction and mow less grass at Lea Bridge Road central reservation and roundabout? Let's see a delight of managed wild flowers."

When I read that I was horrified - the pleasure that I'd had in the flowers, those that I'd told about it and taken to see - all gone!

Whipps Cross Road 120704 20479artAbove the mower the banners read: "your borough...we want your views"I went to Whipps Cross Road on 4th July. Underneath banners suggesting that it was "your borough" and that "we want your views" the mowers were out completing the job of destroying that lovely verge on behalf of Waltham Forest Council. I spoke to one of the contractors, and got a feeling even from him that what was happening was wrong: "It's for the Olympics, though". Of course it is - everything must look tidy for the thousands of visitors we're going to have to entertain. They won't want to see colour and beauty - at least not by roadsides. They'll want it tidy. Won't they? At a Cabinet Meeting of the L.B.W.F. on 20th July 2010 one provision was "Increased visitor economy by the provision of an attractive walking and cycling route to the Olympic Park."

An alternative view of why the council decided to mow the verges was put forward by another person, though. Apparently some cyclists have been complaining about the vegetation encroaching onto their track. It was: I walked along the very edge before it was mowed down - but it wasn't leg-hindering thick-stuff, brambles or the like - it was just soft vegetation. Perhaps it gets tangled in the bicycle wheels? If that's the case - of course it has to go. Don't go cycling in the country.

Waltham Forest's Biodiversity Action Plan states: "Our vision for Waltham Forest is of a diverse natural landscape with the countryside and open spaces integrated into the urban environment... It is a place where the richness of the biodiversity in the Borough is protected, conserved and enhanced..."

In fact, the damage wasn't quite as bad as I'd feared. It was only the metre-or-so verge either side of the shared-use path that had gone - the embankment remains, so there is still colour and a place where butterflies and bees can feed. But with the wheels of the vehicles that much more obvious, the place didn't feel the same as it had a few days earlier. It certainly didn't look the same.

You might like to comment on the "improvements " along Whipps Cross Road; this may be an approprate email address:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Paul Ferris, 5th July 2012

Invertebrates in July

Capel Moth trap 1/2 July

1 Dipleurina lacustrata (1338)
1 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (1497)

1 Common Emerald (1669)
Scalloped Oak (1920)
1 Willow Beauty (1937)
3 Heart and Dart (2089)
1 Dun-bar (2318)

1 Orange Ladybird Halyzia 16-guttata

Capel Road moth trap on 3/4 July included:

1 Batia lunaris  - New Tawny Tubic (640) (pic)
1 Hofmannophila pseudospretella - Brown House Moth (647)
1 Oecogonia sp. (871)

 

A visit to the Leyton Flats area on 4th July produced the following invertebrates:

Silver Y Moth
Black-tailed Skimmer
Broad-bodied Chaser
Banded Demoiselle
various Blue Damselflies
Brown Hawker ?
Southern Hawker or Emperor?
Essex or Small Skippers
Large White and other "white" butterflies
possible Comma butterfly
 
 
Capel moth trap overnight on 4/5th July:
 
1 Cochylis atricapitana (966) (if correct this would be a new species for the area)
2 Pyrausta aurata (1361)
Aphomia sociella Bee Moth (1428)
1 possibly Ephista unicolorella ssp. woodiella (1474) (if correct this would be a new species for the area)
 
1 Least Carpet (1699)
1 Dwarf Cream Wave (1705)
1 Lime-speck Pug (1825)
1 Scalloped Oak (1920)

1 Willow Beauty (1937)
1 Common Footman (2050)
1 Heart and Club (2088)
3 Heart and Dart (2089)
1 Clay (2193)
1 Bird's Wing (2301)
1 Pale Mottled Willow (2389)
1 Snout (2477)
 

Lakehouse catch for 4/5 July: 39 moths of 17 species.

Underlined species names = new for the trap for this year.

5 Hofmannophila pseudospretella - Brown House Moth (647)
1 Endrosis sarcitrella - White-shouldered House Moth (648)
7 Epiphyas postvittana - Light Brown Apple Moth (998)
1 Lozotaeniodes formosana (1001)
1 Chrysoteuchia culmella (1293)
2 Crambus pascuella (1294)
Aphomia sociella - Bee Moth (1428)

1 Dwarf Cream Wave (1705)
2 Garden Carpet (1728)
2 Foxglove Pug (1817)
1 Brimstone Moth (1906)
2 Willow Beauty (1937)
1 Mottled Beauty (1941)
2 Common Footman (2050)
5 Heart and Dart (2089)
1 Dingy Shears (2314)
1 Dark Arches (2321)
2 Pale Mottled Willow (2389)


Lakehouse catch for 8/9 July: 13 moths of 9 species

1 Least Carpet (1699)
1 Small Fan-footed Wave (1702)
2 Garden Carpet (1728)
1 Scalloped Oak (1921)
2 Willow Beauty (1937)
1 Common Footman (2050)
1 Short Cloaked Moth (2077)
2 Heart and Dart (2089)
2 Large Yellow Underwing (2107)

Poor weather deterred from the moth traps being put out at either Lakehouse or Capel Road for many nights. However, out and about, grasshoppers were beginning to really make their presence felt, with seemingly hundreds jumping around in the grass by the edge of the City of London Cemetery fence and wall. As well, there were numbers of Small Heath, Meadow Brown and Skipper butterflies, making at least the 12th July feel summery in a very un-summery seeming summer. Other butterflies seen on that day were a few Red Admirals and some Large Whites. Two moths were encountered: just two caterpillars of the Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae)on Ragwort by the City of London Cemetery and a Burnet Companion moth (Euclidia glyphica)in the luxurient meadows of Webster's Land in Little Ilford.

The moth trap was put out at Lakehouse on 15/16th, and the catch was as follows:

1 Hofmannophila pseudospretella - Brown House Moth (647)
1 Epiphyas postvittana - Light Brown Apple Moth (female) (998)
1 Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth (1261)
2 Crambus pascuella (1294)
1 Eudonia  (Dipleurina) lacustrata (1338)
1 Aphomia sociella - Bee Moth (male) (1428)
1 Emmelina monodactyla - Common Plume (1524)

1 Garden Carpet (1728)
1 Foxglove Pug (1817)
1 Scalloped Oak (1921)
1 Common Footman (2050)
1 Large Yellow Underwing (2107)
1 Dark Arches (2321)

On 17th, the first Summer Chafers (Amphimallon solstitialis) (pic) - sometimes known as Solstice Bugs, though they are beetles and this year it is way beyond the Solstice - were seen flying around the Oak tree-tops in Capel Road. This is an annual event in the evenings, when the beetles emerge, fly around the oak-tops looking for a mate and disconcertingly fly at you if you try to walk across the Flats. Thye are quite big and noisy. The EOL Encyclopedia of Life website states that the "Plant / resting place / swarming adult of Amphimallon solstitialis may be found on live canopy of Ulmus" (Elm). It also mentions Poplar and Lime - but here it is Oak.

On 17/18th at Capel Road:

1 Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth (1261)
1 Chrysoteuchia culmella (1293)
1 Eudonia mercurella (1344) (pic)
1 Eurrhypara hortulata - Small Magpie  (1376)
1 possibly Ephestia  sp. (1473)
1 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (1497) ?

2 Dwarf Cream Wave (1705)
1 Single-dotted Wave (1708)
2 Willow Beauty (1937)
1 Marbled Beauty (2293)
1 Bird's Wing (2301)
1 Cloaked Minor (2341)
4 Common Rustic (2343)
1 Uncertain (2381)
 
and at Lakehouse:

1 Hofmannophila pseudospretella - Brown House Moth (647)
5 Chrysoteuchia culmella (1293)
6 Eudonia mercurella (1344)
1 Pyrausta aurata (1361)

2 Riband Wave (1713)
1 Common Carpet (1738)
1 Lime-speck Pug  (1825)
1 worn and unidentified pug
1 Scalloped Oak (1921)
1 Common Footman (2050)
3 Heart and Dart (2089)
1 Large Yellow Underwing (2107)
1 Dun-bar (2318)
1 Dark Arches (2321)
1 Common Rustic agg. (2343)
1 Uncertain (2381)
1 Pale Mottled Willow (2389)

 
There was wind and light showers on Wanstead Flats around mid-day on 18th, but still Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Essex and Small Skippers and the first noted  Large Skipper were occasionally flying (pic). On just a few Common Ragwort plants, the black and yellow larvae of Cinnabar Moths (pic) were seen, but I would have expected a lot more to be evident by now.
 
Capel Road moth trap on 19/20th July:
 
1 Eudonia mercurella (1344)
1 Pleuroptya ruralis  Mother of Pearl (1405)

1 Early Thorn (1917)
1 Large Yellow Underwing (2107)
1 Marbled Beauty (2293)
 
 
Capel Road moth trap 21/22 July:
 
1 possibly Chrysoteuchia culmella (1293)
1 Eudonia mercurella (1344)
1 possibly Ephestia parasitella (1474)

1 Least Carpet (1699)
1 Dwarf Cream Wave (1705)
1 Single-dotted Wave (1708)
1 Riband Wave (1713)
1 Yellow Shell (1742)
1 Lime-speck Pug (1825)
1 Common Rustic (2343)
1 Nut-tree Tussock (2425)
 
Lakehouse moth trap 21/22 July:

1 Notocelia uddmanniana  - Bramble-shoot Moth (1174)
2 Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth (1261)
2 Crambus pascuella  (1294)
1 Eudonia mercurella  (1344)

1 Least Carpet
1 Dwarf Cream Wave
1 Common Carpet
1 Scalloped Oak
1 Peppered Moth Biston beltularia (1931)
2 Dingy Footman Eilema griseola (2154)
1 Common Footman
1 Heart and Dart
1 Large Yellow Underwing
3 Dark Arches
1 Pale Mottled Willow

Butterflies listed on 21st and 22nd :

Essex Skipper: seemed to be the more common of the two species that were out in very large numbers (100s) on Spear Thistle, Ragwort, Yarrow etc near Centre Road, east of Alexandra Lake, on the Plain and in the Old Sewage Works.
Small Skipper: plentiful, though not - I think - as plentiful as the above.
Small Heath: a few only on Flats (21/7) and on the Plain (22/7).
Small Copper: 10 counted on eastern Plain on 21/7 and others on western Plain on 22/7.
Meadow Brown: large numbers on all the grassland areas visitited (near Centre Road, near Alexandra Lake, on the Plain and in the Old Sewage Works).
Gatekeeper: aboubt 10 seen on the Plain and in the Old Sewage Works, 22/7; all seemed very fresh.
Specked Wood: just 1 seen on 21/7, near the entrance to the CoL Cemetery fence.
Red Admiral: 2 seen (1 by Jubilee Pond; 1 in OLW), 21/7; about 12 seen on 22/7.
Large White: 1 in City of London Cemetery, 21/7.
small white sp.: several individuals seen on 21/7 and 22/7 but not approachable.

Odonata (Damselflies and Dragonflies) listed on 21st and 22nd :

Banded Demoiselle: 1 on Shoulder of Mutton; at least 10 by Roding.
Common Blue Damselfly/Azure: many of these species; both present but most not assigned to species.
Blue-tailed Damselfly: a few around east end of Perch, 21/7 and 22/7.
Red-eyed Damsefly: seen on Jubilee (21/7), Perch, Heronry and Ornamentals (22/7).
Black-tailed Skimmer: 2 on Jubilee (21/7), with others around Heronry and Ornamentals (22/7).
Brown Hawker: at least 10 seen on 22/7, with individuals around Shoulder, Heronry, Perch, Ornamentals and over Old Sewage Works.
Southern Hawker: at least 6 seen on 22/7, with individuals around Heronry and Ornamentals.
Common Darter: 1 at south end of Jubilee, 21/7.

 Capel Road moth trap 23/24 July:

2 Hofmannophila pseudospretella - Brown House Moth 647
1 Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth 1261
1 Catoptria falsella 1316
1 Dipleurina  (Eudonia) lacustra 1338
1 Eudonia mercurella 1344
1 Eurrhypara hortulata - Small Magpie 1376
2 Pleuroptyla ruralis - Mother of Pearl 1405
2 Orthopygia glaucinalis  1415
1 Emellina monodactyla 1454

2 Oak Hook-tip 1646
5 Least Carpet 1699
2 Single-dotted Wave 1708
3 Riband Wave 1713
1 Lime-speck Pug 1825
1 Common Footman 2050
1 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
2 Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2110
1 Common Rustic agg. (2343)
1 Uncertain 2381

Lakehouse moth trap 23/24 July:

Hofmannophila pseudospretella - Brown House Moth 647
1 Tachystola acroxantha 656 (probable?)
3 Epiphyas postvittana - Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Tortrix viridana - Green Oak Tortrix 1033
1 Pammene aurita 1233
Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth 1261
5 Chrysoteuchia culmella 1293
5 Eudonia mercurella 1344
2 Endotricha flammealis 1424
Aphomia sociella  Bee Moth 1428
 
2 Oak Hook-tip 1646
1 Least Carpet 1699
1 Riband Wave 1713
1 Garden Carpet 1728
2 Swallow-tailed Moth 1922
1 Dingy Footman 2044
2 Common Footman 2050
1 Buff Ermine 2061
2 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
1 Dun-bar 2318
1 Dark Arches 2321
2 Uncertain 2381
1 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

 
Flying across the Angle Pond on Wanstead Flats on 25th were a couple of Southern Hawker dragonflies; this species is present by some of the lakes in Wanstead Park at the moment as well. In the grass by the pond was the grass moth Chrysoteuchia culmella.
 

Capel Road moth trap on 25/26 July:

1 Lyonetia clerkella - Apple Leaf Miner  263
1 Crassa unitella 642
3 Hofmannophila pseudospretella - Brown House Moth 647
1 Chrysoclista lathamella 902
1 Epiblema foenella 1183
1 Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth 1261
1 Chrysoteucha culmella 1293
1 Eudonia mercurella 1344
1 Phlyctaenia coronata - "Blue-spot Magpie"  1378
3 Endotricha flammealis 1424

5 Least Carpet 1699
1 Dwarf Cream Wave 1705
2 Riband Wave 1713
1 Common Marbled Carpet 1764
1 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
1 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
1 Marbled Beauty 2293
1 Dun Bar 2318
1 Tawny Marbled Minor 2339
1 Nut-tree Tussock 2425


and a bumper-night at the Lakehouse trap on 25/26 July:

1 Roeslerstammia erxlebella  447
Hofmannophila pseudospretella - Brown House Moth 647
Endrosis sarcitrella - White-shouldered House Moth 648
Epiphyas postvittana - Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 possible Zeiraphera isertana 1165
Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth 1261
 
3+ Chrysoteuchia culmella - Garden Grass Veneer 1293
1 Crambus pascuella 1294
5 Eudonia mercurella 1344
1 Hypsopygia costalis - Gold Triangle 1413
1 Phycita roborella 1452 (a new species for the area)
1Emmelina monodactyla - Common Plume 1524
 
1 Oak Hook-tip 1646
5 Least Carpet 1699
2 Treble Brown Spot 1711
6 Riband Wave 1713
2 Garden Carpet 1728
2 Lime Speck Pug 1825
2 Common Pug 1834
1 Peppered Moth 1931
1 Willow Beauty 1937
3 Dingy Footman 2044
3 Common Footman 2050
2 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
1 Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2110
1 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2111
1 Knot Grass 2289
1 Marbled Beauty 2293
2 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
2 Old Lady 2300
1 Dark Arches 2321
1 Light Arches 2322
1 Double-lobed 2336 (a new species for the area)
2 Uncertain 2381

 
Lakehouse trap on 27/28 July. What was most striking was the big reduction in the number of micros cf. the night of 25/26...

1 Yponomeuta evonymella Bird-cherry Ermine 424
2 Epiphyas postvittana - Light Brown Apple Moth 0998
3 Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth 1261
1 Endotricha flammealis  1424

1 Oak Hook-tip 1646
5 Least Carpet 1696
2 Single-dotted Wave 1708
4 Riband Wave 1713
4 Garden Carpet 1728
1 pug sp.
1 Peppered Moth 1931
2 Common Footman 2050
2 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
1 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2111
1 Cabbage Moth 2154
1 Clay 2193
1 Knot Grass 2289
1 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
1 Marbled Beauty 2293
1 Dun-bar 2318
1 Dark Arches 2321
1 LIght Arches 2322
1 Double-lobed 2336
1 Uncertain 2381
1 Nut-tree Tussock 2425
 
 
Capel Road trap on 28/29 July; this was a slightly cooler night than of late, and the moon was bright - perhaps reasons for a less productive catch than of late.
 
1 Tinea trinotella 247
Hofmannophila pseudospretella  Brown House Moth 647
1 Crambus perlella 1302 (a new species for the area) (pic)
1 Pleuroptyla ruralis  Mother of Pearl 1405
1 Endotricha flammealis 1424
 
2 Dwarf Cream Wave 1705
3 Riband Wave 1713
1 Common Footman 2050
1 Marbled Beauty 2293
1 Mottled Rustic 2387
1 Silver Y 2441

 
The Capel Road trap on 29/31 July didn't produce many specimens, but there were two new species records for the area amongst them:
 
Coleophora  sp. 568 (a new species for the area)
1 Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth 1261
1 Lyonetia clerkella 1263
1 Crambus perlella 1302 (a new species for the area)
1 Endotricha flammealis 1424
 
2 Riband Wave 1713
2 Common Carpet 1738
1 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2111
1 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
 
 
The catch at Lakehouse on 31st July/1st August:
The combination of it being a cool night and the full moon possibly meant that the catch last night was relatively small (26 moths of 14 species), as follows:
 
3 Endrosis sarcitrella - White-shouldered House Moth 648
2 Epiphyas postvittana - Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth 1261
1 Eudonia mercurella 1344
3 Endotricha flammealis 1424
1 Aphomia sociella  Bee Moth 1428
 
1 Least Carpet 1699
5 Riband Wave 1713
1 Common Carpet 1738
3 Common Footman 2050
1 Buff Ermine 2061 (new species for the area)
1 Ruby Tiger 2064
2 Dot Moth 2155
1 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
 
For June click here
For August click here
 

Where has all the wildlife gone? - or why might it be going?

I gave up a couple of years ago writing letters and speaking to people in the Conservators' department of the City of London. I got a headache. I've never been much of an activist, just quietly suggesting that things might be done differently, better - or shouldn't have been done at all. You get a headache if you shout; you get a headache if you whisper. It's all to do with banging your head against a brick wall, I suppose.

Luckily, along came websites, and the ability to publish thoughts that one or two people might pick up on (at least in the case of Wanstead Wildlife - which doesn't try to sell things, just acts as a record-base and a facility for people to see what's living and happening around them). From the the website I was able to occasionally mention a few things that disturbed me (that's me, not necessarily others, who - it seems - tend to see things differently, or not at all).

What am I waffling on about? Sometimes I wonder, but this time I shall cover a number of aspects, all of which are having their impact right now on our wildlife and the ecology of the area.

wf tree lopping 120316 0447artThe trees where the owls were...(and the Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers)Where has all the dead wood gone? The City of London Corporation, in its wisdom and fear of litigation, has embarked on a policy of lopping off the branches and or tops of any trees on Wanstead Flats, the Park and hereabouts which it perceives might fall on somebody's head. Now anybody who watches television programmes, reads wildlife magazines or perhaps has been to school knows that dead wood - standing as well as laying about looking messy - is an extremely important habitat for a host of wildlife, from the fungi that may have caused the death in the first place to the insects that live in and on it, to the birds that feed on the insects and nest in the holes and the people that may just like to know that there are such things about to share our world.  A couple of years ago on Wanstead Flats, dog-walkers were the most likely people to be able to tell enthusiastic visiting birders where the Little Owls families were. The birders probably noticed the breeding Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, and the bat enthusiasts were probably wondering which of the trees may have held the bats roosts that the make Wanstead Flats such a great bat-watching experience. Much the same goes for Wanstead Park: I haven't seen the Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers that so many casual strollers became aware of, and indeed once was pointed out to me by the courting couple at the base of the tree from which it was calling. If only that couple had known that the tree could have fallen on them at any time! They'd have done better to have used the long grass - but then there is less of that than there used to be; it's now more convenient to cut it for the events and picnic-ers.

At least when dead wood or cut branches lies about in Chalet Wood, it can be put to use; By mid-June - as the bluebell stems were finally dying back - there were SIX wigwam structures in the wood (plus a few others in rather more obscure or overgrown areas of the Park). What fun! Let's drag logs across the bluebells, trample a bare patch for yards round the trees, and then go away having done something worthwhile!

Down by the east end of the Perch Pond, the slashing machines had already been out cutting down the wildlflowers that probably provide the most colourful and varied floral display in the whole of the Park. This is usually done at the end of August - whilst it is still glorious - and I've moaned about that. It'll probably grow up again by then, so will need to be done again, but in the meantime all the dragonflies damselflies, moths, beetles, spiders, bugs and bees will have to find somewhere else to hang out. Of course, this is all necessary. It comes under the Reservoir Act - so we are told - so cutting flowers down in June and August is an absolute priority. Where have all the insects gone?

sw gravel  120601 10373artand the corner where the Cranesbill was...Where have all the flowers gone? Leaving the missing Perch Pond ones behind, I went to take a picture of the Shining Cranesbill in the Exchange Lands (yes - that's Aldersbrook Exchange Lands, which used to be a sewage works.) I don't go over there so much now, because there are now two Cycleways through there. That's Cycleways in the same sense as Motorways, by the way. The second of these - the North-South Roding Valley Way link has just been created and surfaced. I haven't yet met anyone who have said how great it is - but a few have mentioned their surprise at how wide it is. Well, can't say I didn't warn you. Anyway, it's done; cyclists, horse-riders, pram pushers and walkers (even on crutches) can all use it in perfect harmony. The disturbed edges will all grow up again, and it will merge in to the surroundings eventually. It might never resemble a green-ride in the countryside again, but - ho-hum. The Shining Cranesbill was gone. It wasn't anything to do with the new Cycleway; it had been carefully un-disturbed when the East-West one was laid, but the same top-layer material that had been used on the new surface had been also used to lay a surface on tracks in a totally different part of the Exchange Lands, nearer to the Riding-School. Was this part of the plan? I don't know, but I suspect there was some material left over and it was put to good use. Luckily, there is still some Shining Cranesbill elsewhere, the remains of the Biting Stonecrop that hadn't been covered over was wonderfully yellow-ly in flower and I suspect that it too will just merge into the landscape and anything that used to live there before will be forgotten.

giant hogweed wp 120606 10490artGiant Hogweed plants near the Dell BridgeWalking back into the Park after not seeing the Cranesbill, I did see two potentially magnificent plants of Giant Hogweed, quite near the Dell Bridge. Now this has been increasing nearer to the Roding in the Exchange Lands, and steps have been taken to deal with it. It is a monster. Finding it in the Park is disturbing. I have reported it to the local head-keeper; I hope that these will be dealt with effectively, and soon. We have a few other invasive plants around that require action, including Floating Pennywort in some of the ponds. Around Alexandra Lake in particular is New-Zealand Pigmy-weed. How we will get rid of this I don't know, but perhaps more importantly by this lake is the amount of vegetation - including trees - that is increasingly obscuring views of the lake.

I'm actually getting fed-up writing this; there doesn't seem much point and trying to think more positively, there must be a lot of more positive things going on. Definitely there are now a lot more people out there interested in our wildlife. There are birders keeping records and also moaning about the tree-lopping, and a new nature-club for children (see here). The Conservators are organising loads of walks, exhibitions and events in and around the Park. The fact that they are getting a lot better at advertising and if anything even worse at listening and communicating is probably representative of life.

Just going to bang my head again...

Paul Ferris, 7th June 2012

 

Invertebrates in June 2012

The first day of June was a day of warm, somewhat humid and overcast weather, and insects were enjoying it. Speckled Wood butterflies were - as usual - visiting the garden, as well as Large Red Damselflies. But it was in Wanstead Park that a variety of insects could be seen during the morning. Surprisingly, perhaps, there were few butterflies - just Speckled Wood and one or two whites. Some moths were observed: Longhorn moths, Adela reaumurella, and a Grass moth Crambus lathoniellus (pic)

The first grasshopper of the year (at least for me) made an appearance by the Heronry Pond, and was well on its way to adult size. Not enough, really, for me to identify, but... having seen one, I became aware that there were others - albeit smaller - underfoot. On the plant leaves, low down, were numerous Wolf Spiders; higher up were Nursery-web Spiders Pisaura mirabilis. There were a few beetles too, including a Soldier Beetle Cantharis sp. and a new species record for the area: Attelabus nitens  - the Oak Leaf-roller (pic.). Erratically flying about from leaf to leaf were Scorpion Flies Panorpa species. Damselflies were Azure, Common Blue, Red-eyed, Large Red and - by Ornamental Waters - a few Banded Demoiselles.

On the 31st May/1st June at Capel Road, the moth trap caught

1 Epiphyas postvittana  Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261

1 Common Swift 17
1 Currant Pug 1832
2 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
1 Lychnis 2173
2 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

Overnight on the 1/2 June at Lakehouse, the moth trap produced:

3 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998

1 Common Swift 17
1 Maiden’s Blush 1680
2 May Highflyer 1778
4 Common Marbled Carpet 1764
2 Cypress Carpet 1771a
( a new species for the area)
1 White-spotted Pug 1835
3 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Heart and Dart 2089
1 Shuttle-shaped Dart 2092
1 Shears 2147
1 Common Quaker 2187
2 Grey Dagger 2284
2 Knot Grass 2289
1 Rustic Shoulder-knot 2334
1 probable Marbled Minor, and another or the same Minor sp. 2337
3 Treble Lines 2380
13 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

On the 4/5 June, the same moth trap caught nothing at all (cool, and full moon)

A visit to Wanstead Park and the old Sewage Works site (Aldersbrook Exchange Lands) produced six species of damselfy: Common Blue, Azure, Large Red, Red-eyed, Blue-tailed and Banded Agrion - of which there were lots by the Roding, predominantly male but with some females. Also on the emergant flag-iris leaves were a few Small China-mark moths, Cataclysta lemnata, a creature which lives around slow-moving water and often lands and sits on duckweed. There were few butterflies in evidence, just a couple of Small Heath on the Plain plus a very bright and new-looking Red Admiral in the Sewage Works, and a white-one. Here too was a Dark Bush-cricket, minus one of its jumping-legs. In addition, there were Scorpion-flies about; these are somewhat moth-like creatures, quite easily seen on vegetation, and there are three common species in Britain. These can't be identified properly without detailed examination, so Panorpa sp. will have to do.

The Capel Road moth trap on 6/7 June had just four moths: a micro Aethes smeathmanniana (947), 1 Willow Beauty, 1 Pale Mottled Willow and 1 Magpie (Abraxa rossulariata 1884) (pic). The Magpie was a new species for the area, as was Aethes smeathmanniana

 The Lakehouse trap - as always - did better (I shall have to order a new lamp):


2 Epiphyas postvittana  Light Brown Apple Moth 998
2 Cydia pomonella  Codling Moth 1261
1 Aphomia sociella
Bee Moth 1428

1 Common Swift
1 Garden Carpet
4 Common Marbled Carpet
1 Spruce Carpet
1 May Highflyer
4 Willow Beauty
4 Light Emerald
2 Heart and Dart
4 Shuttle-shaped Dart
1 Setaceous Hebrew Character
1 Common Quaker
1 Rustic Shoulder-knot
1 minor sp.
1 Pale Mottled Willow

Capel moth trap, 8/9 June : 1 Green Oak Tortrix Tortrix viridana, 3 Common Marbled Carpet, 1 White Ermine, 1 Pale Mottled Willow, 1 White-point (2194) (pic) The White-point is an immigrant species, increasing particularly in SE England. This is a new species record for the area.

On 9th June a visit to Wanstead Park followed by a walk through the sewage works, along Aldersbrook Bridle Path and round the cemetery boundary to the Flats produced the following invertebrates: In Wanstead Park, a micro-moth as yet unidentified but click here for a picture. There was a male Banded Demoiselle by the Ornamental Water and near the Grotto was a good selection of bees, a few hoverflies, some newly-emerged damselflies, a Green-veined White butterfly and a Holly Blue. Entering the Aldersbrook Exchange Lands, a Pill Millipede Glomeris marginata was making its way across the cycle route, but rolled up protectively when photograhed (pic). By the Roding there were many Banded Demoiselles on both banks. There were also a few Red Admiral butterflies about, a few Dark Bush-crickets at a young stage of development and a Xysticus cristatus spider carrying an ant (pic). Later on, at the point where the Aldersbrook goes underneath the railway lines, there was a female Black-tailed Skimmer - the first this year. (pic)

The Lakehouse moth trap on 9/10 produced:

1Endrosis sarcitrella White-shouldered House Moth 648
1Epiphyas postvittana  Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261

1 Garden Carpet
1 Common Marbled Carpet
1 May Highflyer
1 White-spotted Pug
2 pug sp.
1 Brimstone
6 Willow Beauty
1 Turnip Moth
3 Shuttle-shaped Dart, 3 (inc. a female)
1 White-point
1 Common Wainscot
1 Shoulder-striped Wainscot
1 Rustic Shoulder-knot
2 probable Marbled Minor (but I'm advised to exercise caution with these!)
1 Vine's Rustic
7 Pale Mottled Willow

Capel moth trap, 9/10 June : 1 Green Oak Tortrix, 1 Common Marbled Carpet, 4 Pale Mottled Willow

Capel moth trap, 10/11 June : 1 White-shouldered House-moth Endrosis sarcitrella, 1 Common Swift, 1 Middle-barred Minor, 1 Pale Mottled Willow

 

Lakehouse moth trap, 13/14th June:

3 Common Marbled Carpet
1 Willow Beauty
1 Heart and Dart
2 Shuttle-shaped Dart
1 Shoulder-striped Wainscot
1 Bird's Wing
1 Minor sp. (probably Marbled Minor)
2 Vine's Rustic
7 Pale Mottled Willow

 

Lakehouse moth trap 15/16 June:

1 Treble Brown Spot
1 Lime-speck Pug
1 Dwarf Pug
6 Common Marbled Carpet
2 Willow Beauty
1 Light Emerald
1 Minor
sp. (looks like the illustration of Rufous in Waring and Townsend)
3 Large Yellow Underwing
2 Heart and Dart
2 Vine's Rustic
2 Shoulder-striped Wainscot
1 Pale Mottled Willow

 

Lakehouse Moth trap 18/19 June, sky rapidly cleared and temp. fell, so a cool night:

1 Willow Beauty
1 Common Marbled Carpet
1 Spruce Carpet
2 Heart and Dart
4 Pale Mottled Willow 

 

Lakehouse Moth trap 19/20 June:

1Endrosis sarcitrella White-shouldered House Moth 648
1 Celypha striana
1063
1 Archips podana
Large Fruit-tree Tortrix 977
1 tortrix sp.
1 Aphomia sociella
Bee Moth 1428

1 Garden Carpet
3 Cypress Carpet
2 pug sp.
4 Willow Beauty
1 Bird’s Wing
1 Dark Arches
1 Vine’s Rustic
1 Pale Mottled Beauty

 

Lakehouse Moth trap 22/23 June:

1 Archips podana  Large Fruit-tree Tortrix 977
1 Aphomia sociella
Bee Moth 1428

1 Willow Beauty
1 Large Yellow Underwing
1 Marbled Minor

2 Pale Mottled Willow

 

On Saturday 23rd June the Wren Conservation and Wildife Group organised a moth-trapping evening in Wanstead Park, with experienced lepidopterist Colin Plant bringing a number of moth traps and his expertise to help out. Three traps were set up near the Temple from 10.30pm, and although rain threatened about 10 people attended. The catch included many midge-like flies, but surprisingly few biting ones, and after a hesitant start moths began arriving to be identified. By about midnight the rain began to come down heavily so we abandoned the Park before 1am. In the list of species that follows the numbers after the name are commonly used reference numbers for each species.

Archips podana Large Fruit-tree Tortrix 977
Aleimma loeflingiana  1032 (new species for the area)
Tortrix viridana  Green Oak Tortrix
1033
Chrysoteuchia culmella Garden Grass-veneer
1293

Common Swift (17)
China Mark (1345)
Yellow Shell
(1742
Common Marbled Carpet
(1764)
Freyer's Pug (
1827) new species for the area
Green Pug
(1860)
Double-striped Pug
(1862)
Mottled Beauty
(1941 )
Heart and Dart
(2089)
Flame Shoulder
(2102) new species for the area
Large Yellow Underwing (2107)
Shears
(2147 )
Shoulder-striped Wainscot
(2205 )
Light Arches
(2322 ) new species for the area
Tawny Marbled Minor
(2339 )
Middle-barred Minor
(2340)
Bordered Sallow
(2399) new species for the area
Silver Y
(2441)
Straw Dot
(2474)

Lakehouse moth trap 25/26 June

2 Brown House Moth 647
1
Endrosis sarcitrella White-shouldered House Moth 648
1 Bramble-shoot Moth
1175
1 Codling Moth
1261
2 Garden Grass-veneer
1293
1 Scoparia pyralella
1333
Aphomia sociella Bee Moth 1428

2 Common Carpet
(1738)
1 Common Marbled Carpet
(1764)quite a tatty individual
1 Spruce Carpet
(1769)
1 Foxglove Pug
(1817)
1 Scalloped Oak
(1921)
6 Heart and Dart
(2089)
1 Uncertain
(2381)
1 Pale Mottled Willow
(2389) been coming to the trap since February! 

 

Lakehouse Moth Trap 27/28

Archips podana Large Fruit-tree Tortrix 977
1 Cnephasia stephensiana Grey Tortrix 1020 NFY
1 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261
1 Crambus pascuella 1294 NFY
1 Eudonia mercurella  1344 NFY

1 Grass Emerald (1665) NFY
1 Cream Wave (1693) NFY
1 Riband Wave (1713) NFY
2 Garden Carpet (1728)
1 Spruce Carpet (1769)
1 Foxglove Pug (1817)
1 Currant Pug (1832) NFY
1 Scalloped Oak (1921)
4 Willow Beauty (1937)
8 Heart and Dart (2089)
1 Shoulder-striped Wainscot (2205)
1 Bird's Wing (2301)
1 Uncertain (2381)
2 Pale Mottled Willow (2389)

 

Capel Moth Trap 27/28 (I hadn't put the trap out for some while in Capel Road as the catches had been so poor, then after this warm, overclouded night, the trap in the morning was more like it used to be - 30 or so species identified and 62 individuals, plus some that got away and many unidentified micros...)

1 Scythropia crategella 450 ? (pic)
1 Batia lunaris 640 (a new species for the area)
1 Pandemis  sp. 972?
1 Tortrix viridana Green Oak Tortrix 1033
2 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261
2 Pyrausta sp. (a small specimen) 1361
Hypsopygia costalis  Golden Triangle 1413
Aphomia sociella Bee Moth 1428
1 Homeosoma sinuella 1481 (pic)

1 Least Carpet (1699)
1 Small Dusty Wave (1707)
3 Satin Wave (1709)
3 Treble Brown Spot (1711)
5 Riband Wave (1713)
1 Garden Carpet (1728)
2 Lime-speck Pug (1825)
1 Double-striped Pug (1862)
1 Brimstone Moth (1906)
2 Willow Beauty (inc. perfumaria) (1937)
2 Common Footman (2050) (pic)
2 White Ermine (2060)
1 Turnip Moth (2087)
3 Heart and Club (2088)
8 Heart and Dart (2089)
1 Large Yellow Underwing (2107)
1 Lesser Yellow Underwing (2109)
1 Shoulder-striped Wainscot (2205)
2 Grey/Dark Dagger (2284) (pic)
1 Birds Wing (2301)
1 Dark Arches (2321) (pic)
1 Light Arches (2322) (pic)
1 Marbled Minor (2337)
1 Minor sp. (2337)
1 Rustic (2343)
2 Uncertain (2381)
5 Pale Mottled Willow (2389)
1 Straw Dot (2474)

Capel moth trap 28/29 June

1 Crassa unitella 642 (new species for the area) (pic)
1 Oegoconia sp. 870
1 Tortrix viridana  1033
1 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261
1 Ephestia parasitella  1474 (new species for the area) (pic)
1 Amblyptilia punctidactyla 1498

1 Common Emerald 1659
1 Small Dusty Wave 1707
1 Scalloped Oak 1921
3 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Light Emerald 1961
1 Short Cloaked Moth 2077
1 Heart and Club 2088
5 Heart and Dart 2089
1 Shears 2147
2 Minor sp. (one possibly a Middle-barred Minor, the other was very small)
2 Uncertain 2381
2 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

 
And at the Lakehouse moth trap to round off the month, 30 species and 58 individuals were trapped on the nights of 29/30 June and 30 June/1 July. The underlined species were new for this year.

1 Hofmannophila pseudospretella Brown House Moth 647
2 Endrosis sarcitrella White-shouldered House Moth 648
2 Archips podana Large Fruit Tree Tortrix 977
3 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Lozotaenides formosanus  1001 (pic)
1 Hedya pruniana Plum Tortrix 1082
1 Cnephasia stephensiana Grey Tortrix 1020
2 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261
1 Chrysoteuchia culmella Garden Grass-veneer 1293
2 Crambus pascuella 1294
1 Eudonia mercurella Small Grey 1344
1 Aglossa pinquinalis  Large Tabby 1421 (new species for the area)
2 Aphomia sociella Bee Moth 1428 (including 1 male)  
 
1 Cream Wave (1693)
1 Riband Wave (1713)
6 Scalloped Oak (1921)
1 Peppered Moth (1931) (new species for the area)
3 Willow Beauty (1937)
1 Mottled Beauty (1941)
1 White Ermine (2060)
2 Short-cloaked Moth (2077)
1 Heart and Club (2088)
10 Heart and Dart (2089)
2 Large Yellow Underwing (2107)
1 Knot Grass (form salicis) (2289)
1 Dark Arches (2321)
1 Uncertain (2381)
1 Vine's Rustic (2384)
4 Pale Mottled Willow (2389)
1 Oak Nycteoline (2423) (new species for the area)
 

 

 

First records of a species for 2012

Attelabus nitens  - Oak Leaf-roller - Wanstead Park, 1 June. New species for the area. (pic)

Grass moth, Crambus lathoniellus  - Wanstead Park, 1st June (pic)

Maiden's Blush Cyclophora punctaria - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 1/2 June.

May Highflyer Hydriomena impluviata 1778 - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 1/2 June. New species for the area

Heart and Dart - Agrotis clavis - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 1/2 June.

Shears Hada plebeja - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 1/2 June.

Grey Dagger Acronicta psi - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 1/2 June.

Rustic-Shoulder-knot Apamea sordens - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 1/2 June. New species for the area

Marbled Minor Oligia strigilis - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 1/2 June

Treble Lines Charanyca trigrammica - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 1/2 June

Small China-mark moth Cataclysta lemnata 1758 - Perch Pond, 6 June

Dark Bush Cricket - 6 June, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands.

Magpie Abraxa rossulariata 1884 - Capel Road moth trap, 6/7 June. New species for the area. (pic)

Aethes smeathmanniana 647 - Capel Road moth trap, 6/7 June. New species for the area.

Setaceous Hebrew Character - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 6/7 June

White Ermine - Capel Road moth trap, 8/9 June

White-point (2194) - Capel Road moth trap, 8/9 June. This is a new species for the area (pic)

Pill-bug Armadillium sp. (probably A. vulgare) - Aldersbrook Exchange Lands (Redbridge Field), 9 June (pic)

Spider Xysticus cristatus - Aldersbrook Exchange Lands, 9 June (pic)

Black-tailed Skimmer - by the Alders Brook, 9 June

The bee-mimic hoverfly Volucella bombylans - Capel Road garden, 10 June (pic)

Small Emerald - Capel moth trap, 12/13 June

Common Blue - Aldersbrook Exchange Lands, 14 June

Burnet Companion (Euclidia glyphica) 463 - Aldersbrook Exchange Lands, 14 June

Celypha striana (1063) - Lakehouse moth trap 19/20 June (new species for the area)

moth Aleimma loeflingiana 1032, Wanstead Park, 23 June

Freyer's Pug 1827, Wanstead Park, 23 June

Flame Shoulder 2102, Wanstead Park, 23 June

Scythropia crategella (450) - Capel Road moth trap 27/28th June (pic)

Batia lunaris - Capel Road moth trap 27/28th June. This is a new species for the area

Crassa unitella - Capel Road garden 28/29 June (pic)

Ephestia parasitella - Capel Road moth trap 28/29 June (pic)

 

for invertebrates in May, click here

for invertebrates in Jan, Feb, March and April, click here

Paul Ferris, June 2012

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Invertebrates in May

Well, up to and beyond the middle of the month, I didn't see many invertebrates at all. Those that had been out and about had probably been so when I wasn't - mainly because when it hadn't been raining it had looked as though it might. It was only on Monday 21st that the weather seemed to change, then it changed drastically - to hot. It continued pretty much that way until the end of the month.

 On 8/9th May the moth trap in Lakehouse attracted 12 moths of six species (and a large caddis-fly):

Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Emmelina monodactyla  Common Plume 1524
1 small, very pale micro, unidentified as yet.

1 Brindled Pug 1852
2 Brimstone 1906
5 Pale Mottled Willow. 2389. Some of these were tatty beyond belief. However, even when they lose colour the black dots on the leading edge of the wings seem to be a giveaway.

A Brindled Pug 1852 was also caught in the Capel Road trap on 9/10th May (pic)

There were many rainy nights and other reasons why neither of the moth traps could be put out, but butterflies seen during the first two weeks of May included a number of Orange Tips, Small White, Speckled Wood, Peacock and Holly Blue. On 15th May, there was a Holly Blue and a micro-moth, Anthophila fabriciana, sometimes called a Nettle-Tap, which is common around nettles. (click here)

On 16/17th the Capel Road trap attracted: 

1 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998

1 Small Dusty Wave 1707 (click here)
1 Common Pug 1834 (click here)
1 Least Black Arches 2078 (click here). This small, dark moth had me stumped until it was suggested that it may be a partly melanistic form of the Least Black Arches. On 17/18th I caught a more typical form of this species and I am now convinced that they are the same. 

 On 17/18th the Capel Road trap had:

1 Shuttle-shaped Dart (click here)
1 Least Black Arches (click hereNola confusalis 2078.  This is a new species for the area

On 18/19th the Capel Road trap had:

3 Early Grey
1 Pale Mottled Willow
1 Common Pug
1 Double-striped Pug

On 19/20th the Capel Road trap had:

1 Common Pug 1834
1 Early Grey 2243

and Lakehouse had:

Endrosis sarcitrella  White-shouldered House Moth 648
1 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998

8 Early Grey 2243
8 Pale Mottled Willow 2389
1 Silver-Y 2441

On the 20th May the Wren Wildlife and Conservation Group organised a walk looking for butterflies, dragonflies and flowers. The weather was not May-like: somewhat overcast and temperatures just about reaching double-figures, so butterflies and dragonflies were hardly at their peak. In fact, so far off their peak were they that apart from one damselfly and one micro-moth we had no sightings of either of those groups. The one damselfly was a Large Red, Phyrrosoma nymphula, newly emerged and hanging on to a Flag-Iris in Perch Pond (click here). There were a few damselfly exuviae (click here) - which are the empty larval-cases - on Flag-Iris, indicating that some at least damselflies had emerged. The micro-moth was Adela reaumurella - commonly called a Longhorn Moth. There are a few species of longhorn-moths and they are so-called because of their particularly long antennae. The term "micro-moth" is a commonly used term for one of the smaller moths, of which there are many and which can be particularly difficult to identify. Adela reaumurella is one of the easier ones: its antennae and bronze colour makes it quite distinctive. (click here)

A few other invertebrates were noted during the day, including spiders, slugs, flys and bees, some ladybirds - both 7-Spot and Harlequin - and just a couple of hoverflies, including the Marmalade Hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus. Some of the group visited the Gatehouse Pantry at the City of London Cemetery afterwards, and a Hairy-footed Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes (click here) was seen on the Solomon's Seal in the garden there. We also noted that some of the leaves of this plant had been eaten, and it is likely that this will have been the work of the larvae of the Solomon's Seal Sawfly, Phymatocera aterrima. Worth keeping an eye on this one.

Of the other invertebrates, the spider was also on the flag-iris leaves: a Long-jawed Orb Weaver,Tetragnatha extensa. This likes damp places, and if alarmed sits with its four front legs and its four back legs stretched out fore-and-aft in line with its body. It also has the capability of walking on water, which apparently it can do faster than on land. On an adjacent leaf was a non-biting midge of a group called Chironomids. (click here). There was a cranefly, too - possiblyTipula vernalis. (click here)

The night of 21st/22nd had the following in the Lakehouse Trap:

2 Endrosis sarcitrella  White-shouldered House Moth 648
3 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
2 as yet unidentified micros

2 Oak-tree Pug 1853
2 worn and unidentified pug sp.
1 Brimstone 1906
1 Knot Grass 2289
5 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

The Capel Road trap had nothing apart from a mirid bug - Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus - quite possibly because the lamp failed to ignite!

A walk across Wanstead Flats on 22nd saw the first two Small Coppers; in Wanstead Park a pair of Speckled Wood butterflies were dancing in dappled shade by Perch Pond, and in Aldersbrook Exchange Lands, a 14-Spot Ladybird Propylea 14-punctata, a Soldier Beetle Cantharis rustica, Orange Tip butterflies, one or two unidentified blue butterflies, some Small Whites and the second species of damselfly this year - a Banded Demoiselle (click here) - were seen. There were also some shield-bugs including the Dock Bug Coreus marginatus and a pair of Bishop's Mitre Aelia acuminita. This increase in activity was much due to a warming of the weather, and a bright, sunny day.

Capel Road's moth trap overnight on 22/23rd:

2 possible Pandemis cerasana Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix 970
1 Aphomia sociella Bee Moth 1428

1 Green Carpet 1776
2 Early Grey 2243

On 23rd May in the garden (Capel Road) there was the annual visit of the Large Red Damselflies - about three, a courting Speckled Wood couple and by the pond - seeing off everything - the hoverfly Helophilus pendulus. Also in the garden was a new species of hoverfly for the area: Merodon equestris eqestris (click here), the Nettle -tap moth Anthophila fabriciana , the Bee Moth Aphomia sociella and the longhorn moth Adela reaumurella (click here). There were numbers of these settling on Red Valerian and Yellow Archangel. There were also - incidentally and doubtless feeding on invertebrates - ten basking Common Frogs by the pond and an uncounted number that jumped in as I approached.

The 23rd May was - like the day before - a hot one, with temperatures up to 25.C. Wanstead Park produced a number of insects, notably a Brimstone butterfly which - as usual - didn't stop for a photograph. Other butterflies were a number of blues - again, not stopping even for i.d. - plenty of Orange Tips, Speckled Woods and two Small Coppers on the Plain. Moths seen were a new species for the area 0652 Alabonia geoffrella (click here), which was on tree-leaves at the edge of Northumberland Avenue, numbers of Adela reaumurella (the longhorn) and a Mother Shipton on the Plain. This last is so-named because part of the wing-pattern is said to resemble a well-known Yorkshire witch (of old). Landing actually on the surface of the Perch Pond was a Small China-mark Cataclysta lemnata. There were also plenty of damselflies in evidence at last, many freshly emerged of course, and these included Blue-tailed, Azure and Large Red Damselfly Pyrhosoma nymphula . Beetles noted were Gastrophysa viridula by Perch Pond and Malachius bipustulatus on May-flowers on the Plain.

In the Capel Road trap on 23/24th:

1 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Cydia pomonella, Codling Moth 1261
1 unidentified tortrix

1 Lime-speck Pug 1825
1 Bright-line Bright-eye 2192
1 Early Grey 2243
1 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

The Lakehouse trap did much better:

1 Nemophora degeerella 148
1 Esperia sulphurella 649
19 Epiphyas postvittana  Light Brown Apple Moth 998
2 Celypha lacunana: 1076 This is a new species for the area
1 Aphomia sociella Bee Moth 1428

1 Grey Pine Carpet Thera obeliscatia 1768. This is a new species for the area
2 Oak Tree Pug 1853
1 Double-striped Pug 1862
1 pug sp.
3 Knot Grass 2289
2 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

The catch at Capel Road on 24/25th:

1 Syndemis musculana  986 This is a new species for the area. (click here)
1 Codling Moth Cydia pomonella 1261
1 unidentified micro (click here)

1 Satin Wave 1709 (click here)
1 Lime-speck Pug 1825
1 Early Grey 2243

and  a crane-fly species (click here)

 
In Lakehouse Road trap on 24/25th were:

1 Endrosis sarcitrella  White-shouldered House Moth 648
15 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Cydia pomonella  Codling Moth 1261
2 Aphomia sociella Bee Moth
1428
3 other small micros, which haven't been figured out yet; also 3 Tortrix which may not be Light Brown Apple Moth.

2 Small Dusty Wave 1707
1 Garden Carpet 1728
1 Grey Pine Carpet 1768
1 White-spotted Pug 1835  Eupithecia tripunctaria
This is a new species for the area
1 Oak-tree Pug 1853
2 Brimstone 1906
2 Willow Beauty 1937 (male and female)
2 Shuttle-shaped Dart 2092
1 Knot Grass 2289
2 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

On 25/26th in Capel Road trap:

1 Double-striped Pug 1862
2 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Bird's Wing 2301
1 Marbled Minor or Tawny Marbled Minor Oligia sp. 2337 - this could be Marbled Minor, Tawny Marbled Minor or even a Rufous Minor, the difference really only ascertainable by examination of the genitalia - which I am loathe to do. It would annoy the creature and be fiddly for me. (click here)

In the garden on 25th was new species of beetle in the area, the longhorn beetle Strangalia melanura

26/27 May catch at Capel Road:

1 Tinea trinotella  Bird's-nest Moth 247 - a new species for the area (pic)

1 Common Swift 17 (click here)
1 Common Pug 1834
1 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

The Lakehouse trap on 26/27th had the following:

5 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Aphomia sociella Bee Moth 1428

1 Spruce Carpet Thera brittanica 1769. This is a new species for the area
1 Common Pug 1834
1 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Light Emerald 1961
1 Poplar Hawkmoth 1981
2 Shuttle-shaped Dart 2092
1 Large Yellow Underwing  2107
2 Knot Grass 2289
3 Pale Mottle Willow 2389

The 27th May was another very warm day, with temperatures above 25.c. A walk in Wanstead Park in the latter part of the morning proved rather disappointing, as fewer insects were to be seen than expected. There were plenty of damselflies by Heronry Pond, including Common Blue (pic.), Azure and Large Red, but almost no butterflies, apart from a white and some Speckled Wood. Even in the garden, not much happening save for the rapid appearance and disappearance of a blue butterfly, one or two Speckled Wood, and the same three damselfly species as in the Park. Then what I at first took to be a Hornet appeared, and flew off. When it returned it was clearly a female Broad-bodied Chaser, which posed not only for pictures (here) but for video too (below).

Moths in the Lakehouse moth trap on 28/29th were:

2 Hofmannophila pseudospretella Brown House Moth 647
2 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
unidentified micros, several

1 Garden Carpet, 1728
1 Common Marbled Carpet, 1764
1 White-spotted Pug 1835
2 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Shuttle-shaped Dart 2092
1 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

In the garden on the 29th it was cooler - up to about 22.C - cloudier, but still invertebrate-quiet; a few Speckled Wood, one bright Red Admiral - the first of the year - and a few of the common damselflies. Quite a few bees, and just one Marmalade Hoverfly. A tiny, pale blue flying creature landed on my foot and stayed long enough for a photo-shoot. I assume it was a species of Wooly Aphid. (pic.) This prompted a look for some other aphids, which were quickly found on the leaves of roses. These were green ones. (pic.)

The Capel Road trap provided a Common Marbled Carpet and a Double-striped Pug, in addition to two micros. There were Holly Blues and Speckled Wood occasionally in the garden, and the first Red-eyed Damselfly on Alexandra Lake.

 Overnight 29/30th, Capel Road accumulated

1 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Common Swift 17

1 Marbled Carpet 1764
1 Green Pug 1860
1 Double-striped Pug 1862
1 Waved Umber Menophra abruptaria 1936. This is a new species for the area.
1 Willow Beauty 1937
2 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

The Lakehouse trap had:

2 Hofmannophila pseudospretella Brown House Moth 647
1 Endrosis sarcitrella  White-shouldered House Moth 648
5 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Cydia pomonella  Codling Moth 1261
1 Pyrausta aurata  1361
1 Bee Moth Aphomia sociella 1428

1 Common Marbled Carpet 1764
2 White-spotted Pug 1835
1 Green Pug Pasiphila chloerata 1860 (partly melanistic) (pic.)
1 unid. pug sp.
3 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Shuttle-shaped Dart 2092
5 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

The night of the 30/31st at Capel Road:

1 Hofmannophila pseudospretella Brown House Moth 647

1 Common Swift 17
1 Currant Pug 1871
1 Double-striped Pug 1862
1 Pale Mottled Willow 2389
1 Waved Umber 1936 This is a new species for the area

31 May/1st June in Capel Road:

1 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998

1 Common Swift 17
1 Currant Pug 1871
2 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
1 Lychnis 2172
2 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

 

List of Invertebrates recorded in May for the first time this year, in order of appearance:

Pale Mottled Willow - 8/9th May, Lakehouse moth trap

Common Plume - 8/9th May, Lakehouse moth trap

Anthophila fabriciana, Nettle-Tap - 15th May, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands (click here)

Peacock - 16th May, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands

Common Pug - 16/17th May, Capel Road moth trap (click here)

Small Dusty Wave - 16/17th May, Capel Road moth trap (click here)

Least Black Arches Nola confusalis (2078) - 16/17th May, Capel Road moth trap (click here). This is a new species for the area 

Shuttle-shaped Dart - 17/18th May, Capel Road moth trap (click here)

Double-striped Pug - 18/19 May, Capel Road moth trap

Silver-Y - 19/20th May, Lakehouse moth trap

White-shouldered House Moth, Endrosis sarcitrella - 19/20th May, Lakehouse moth trap

Large Red Damselfly - 20th May, Perch Pond, Wanstead Park

Long-jawed Orb Weaver,Tetragnatha extensa - 20th May, Heronry Pond, Wanstead Park

Brimstone moth - 21/22nd May, Lakehouse moth trap

Oak-tree Pug - 21/22nd May, Lakehouse moth trap

Small Copper, 22nd May, Wanstead Flats

14-Spot Ladybird Propylea 14-punctata - 22nd May, Aldersbrook Exchange Land

Soldier Beetle Cantharis rustica - 22nd May, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands

Ichneumon wasp, possibly Pimpla hypochondriaca - 22nd May, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands

Banded Demoiselle - 22nd May, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands, by Roding (click here)

Dock Bug Coreus marginatus - 22nd May, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands

Bishop's Mitre Aelia acuminita - 22nd May, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands

Bee Moth Aphomia sociella - 22/23 May, Capel Road moth trap

Green Carpet - 22/23 May, Capel Road moth trap

hoverfly Merodon equestris eqestris - 23 May, Capel Road garden

Nettle -tap moth Anthophila fabriciana - 23 May, Capel Road garden

Longhorn Moth Adela cuprella - 23 May, Capel Road garden (click here)

Alabonia geoffrella (0652) - 23 May, by Northumberland Avenue, Wanstead Park (click here) This is a new species for the area

Mother Shipton - 23 May, The Plain, Wanstead Park

Small China-mark Cataclysta lemnata - 23 May, Perch Pond, Wanstead Park

Blue-tailed Damselfly - 23 May, Wanstead Park

Azure Damselfly - 23 May, Wanstead Park

Gastrophysa viridula - 23 May, by Perch Pond, Wanstead Park

Malachius bipustulatus - 23 May, on May flowers on the Plain, Wanstead Park

Lime-speck Pug - 23/24 May, Capel Road moth trap

Bright-line Bright-eye - 23/24 May, Capel Road moth trap

Codling Moth Cydia pomonella - 23/24 May, Capel Road moth trap

Nemophora degeerella - 23/24 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Esperia sulphurella - 23/24 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Celypha lacunana (1076) - 23/24 May, Lakehouse moth trap.  This is a new species for the area

Grey Pine Carpet Thera obeliscata (1768)- 23/24 May, Lakehouse moth trap.  This is a new species for the area  

Double-striped Pug - 23/24 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Knot Grass - 23/24 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Garden Carpet - 24/25 May, Lakehouse moth trap

White-spotted Pug Eupithecia tripunctaria (1835) - 24/25 May, Lakehouse moth trap.  This is a new species for the area 

Willow Beauty - 24/25 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Syndemis musculana  986 - 24/25 May, Capel Road moth trap. This is a new species for the area.

Satin Wave - 24/25 May, Capel Road moth trap (click here)

crane-fly species - 24/25 May, Capel Road moth trap (click here)

Longhorn Beetle Strangalia melanura - 25 May. This is a new species for the area.

Bird's Wing - 25/26 May, Capel Road moth trap

Marbled or Tawny Marbled Minor Oligia sp. -   25/26 May, Capel Road moth trap (click here)

Common Swift - 26/27 May, Capel Road moth trap (click here)

Broad-bodied Chaser - 27th May, Capel Road garden. (click here)

Light Emerald - 26/27 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Spruce Carpet Thera britannica (1769) - 26/27 May, Lakehouse moth trap.  This is a new species for the area 

Poplar Hawkmoth - 26/27 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Large Yellow Underwing - 26/27 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Common Marbled Carpet - 28/29 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Red Admiral - 29 May, Capel Road garden

Pale Tussock Callitera pudibunda (2028) - 29/30 May, Lakehouse Estate. This is a new species for the area 

Waved Umber Menophra abruptaria (1936) - 30/31 May, Capel Road moth trap. This is a new species for the area

Lychnis - 30/31 May, Capel Road moth trap

Pyrausta aurata - 30/31 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Green Pug - 30/31 May, Lakehouse moth trap  (pic.)

 

for invertebrates in June click here

 

 Paul Ferris, May 2012

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