Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Two Tawnies but no Whites

Very windy today with gusts well over 30mph in the garden and so with the combination of that, plus the rain and cool temperature last night I didn't bother with the moth trap.
Two Chiffchaffs, in a different spot to any of the 22 at the weekend were singing this morning, but again in unsuitable habitat and most likely just passing through.
The Norway Maple (Acer platanoides) planted and regenerating on the estate has now burst into flower, the first of the Acers around here to flower, usually followed in a few weeks by the Field Maple and then Sycamore at the end of the month.
I had time for nothing but a very quick look and listen along the side of the Hermitage Woods. As I waited around I took a photograph of the Yellow Lichen (Xanthoria parietina)  which was present on nearly every tree.
Lichen (Xanthoria parietina) 

A few more Chiffchaff and a Blackcap were singing but I couldn't hear any Willow Warblers. It was a good spot for finches with Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Goldfinch singing, I heard a Bullfinch and both Linnet and Lesser Redpoll flew over. A sandy, scrubby little bank was more sheltered, though no butterflies were about, two Large Red-tailed Bumblebee were and I saw three of what I came here for for, Tawny Mining Bee.  These Mining Bees which make their nests in loose soil and produce little cone-shaped spoil tips with the spoil they tip out.

Tawny Mining Bee

I didn't stay long but did get another Tawny, this time a Tawny Owl that I flushed from one of the Scot's Pines. Two different Tawnies were nice but no white butterflies yet, still it can't be long.


  1. someone pointed out a Green veined White today at the very sheltered & very sunny Garden House, (at the burn at back of Lumley Castle,) also 2 each of Comma & Peacock & a Small Tortoiseshell there.

  2. Hi,
    Buglife are asking for any sightings of Oil Beetles. They are associated with the Tawny Mining Bee. I thought you might be interested in case you spot any of these Beeteles while hunting out your Solitary Bees.

  3. Hi keith, the first 2 nest mounds of this years TMB`s were seen in my garden yesterday.

  4. I have to admit I have never participated in an Oil Beetle Hunt before (the shame of it) but there's a first for everything. I'm ready, have printed off my recording card and ID Sheet so now to find the little critters. Unlike some things I only appear to have 2 species to worry about. There seems to have been a synchronised emergence of TMBs the last couple days, early according to my records too.
    The sun is shining at the moment so I must get a white today - surely?

    Wish me luck

  5. Good Lad,
    I had you down as a sucker for an Oil Beetle hunt.Good luck in your quest.
    Cheers John