|Soldier Beetles - Rhagonycha fulva - 1000s of them|
Nearly every umbel of Hogweed had one or more Soldier Beetle on them, there must have been thousands on the site. The first photo is unusual as its rare to find them singly, often there are mating pairs, hence the old country name of 'Bonking Beetle'. They feed on small, soft-bodied insects that some to feed on the flowers.
There were lots of young birds around with Meadow Pipit and both Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff having what looks like a very good breeding season. 30 Swallow and a few House Martin were feeding low over the fields and as I watched them, the birds of the day flew over in the form of a group of 4 Common Crossbill, my second record of the year for this species.
A few more plants were added, eight species in all were new for the year, though I know I have seen a couple earlier but forgot to count them.
Galeopsis tetrahit (Common Hemp-nettle)
Angelica sylvestris (Wild Angelica)
Euphorbia helioscopia (Sun Spurge)
Festuca ovina (Sheep's-fescue)
Lotus pedunculatus (Greater Bird's-foot-trefoil)
Odontites vernus (Red Bartsia)
Teucrium scorodonia (Wood Sage)
Euphrasia nemorosa (Common Eyebright)
I can't remember ever seeing so much Red Bartsia as there is at the moment at Daisy Hill, there's masses of it. This species is a parasite on grasses and seems to be doing an excellent job of keeping the grasses under control.
As I walked through I heard a strange sound coming from a clump of vegetation. The noise was quiet hiss, a bit like a short release of air from a tyre. It took a while to locate what was in there and it was a smallish Common Frog. I don't recall hearing that sort of noise from one before.
|The 'hissing' Common Frog|
My OFFH lists for the year are
|Flowering plants - 322|
|Birds - 104|
|Moths - 203|
|Butterflies - 20|
|Dragonflies - 8|
|Hoverflies - 14|
|Mammals - 10|
|Bumblebees - 6|