North Cliffe Wood – 24/09/13

Well, Autumn is finally here, and a visit to ‘the local’ confirmed the onward march of the seasons. There was a constant flurry of leaves now falling from the trees, with the occasional sound of Acorns dropping from the Oaks. Dragonfly wise we are now down to the two classic autumn species, Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, the latter trying to find the best sites to absorb as much warmth from the late afternoon sun as possible. Speckled Woods Pararge aegeria and Commas Polygonia c-album were feeding on the bramble fruits, now past their best. Other species noted included Large White Pieris brassicae, Green-veined White Pieris napi and Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas. There were good numbers of Gorse Shieldbugs Piezodorus lituratus found on the Gorse, the most I’ve ever encountered, along with a single Red-legged Shieldbug Pentatoma rufipes. In addition a Birch Sheildbug Elasmostethus interstinctus was also found and photographed, along with another ‘true bug’, Tree Damsel Bug Himacerus apterus. Several Grass Snakes Natrix natrix were making the most of the late afternoon sun, after the cloud had finally receded.

Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatumCommon Darter – Sympetrum striolatum

Comma - Polygonia c-albumComma – Polygonia c-album

Speckled Wood - Pararge aegeriaSpeckled Wood – Pararge aegeria

Birch Shieldbug - Elasmostethus interstinctusBirch Shieldbug – Elasmostethus interstinctus

Gorse Shieldbug - Piezodorus lituratusGorse Shieldbug – Piezodorus lituratus

Tree Damsel Bug - Himacerus apterusTree Damsel Bug – Himacerus apterus

7-spot Ladybird - Coccinella 7-punctata7-spot Ladybird – Coccinella 7-punctata