Sunday, 25 March 2012

Chiffchaff invasion and mystery Ladybird

When I looked out first thing the mist was so thick I couldn't see across the road, so I went back to bed. A bit later I tried a second time, by which time the sun had burned most of the fog off.

 Kidney-spot Ladybird? - see below 

After only the single Chiffchaff the last few days it was a bit of a surprise to have 14 singing birds here today. The sun was warm and it brought out a few Peacock butterflies and good numbers of Bumblebees plus a couple of Hoverflies but I failed to get a positive id on the latter.

Peacock butterfly
A wander over and  through the Cong Burn Woods to the farm pools had more Chiffchaffs and a perched up Tawny Owl which hooted briefly before silently flying off through the trees.  The 'feral' Flowering Currant here was in full flower.

Flowering Currant

I know there has been a lot of talk about the shortage of rain but my legs were soaked walking through the grass to the pools. It wasn't worth it however and one pool was completely dry and the other had only a fraction of the usual amount of water and was hidden by the surrounding vegetation.

A dry farm pond
On the way back, a couple of Siskins were seen, including a singing bird.
Back in the garden there were 30+ Seven-spotted Ladybirds and another which was much smaller, all-black with two red-spots.  I think this is a Kidney-spot ladybird but I not altogether certain it is not one of the other similar looking species as the spots seem to be the wrong shape/postion for me to be sure.


  1. Worth considering Pine Ladybird, as from your photo it looks to have a keel around the wing cases.

  2. Cheers Tim, I suspect you are right. I did consider Pine (and Heather and melanistic 2-spot) but the Pine Ladybirds I've had in the past here have all been nice 4 spotted with the upper two spots prominent comma shaped.