This migrant daytime flying moth arrives in Britain from southern Europe and northern Africa from April onwards. It can be seen hovering in front of flowers from which it feeds with its long proboscis. Eggs are laid on Ladies Bedstraw, Madder and Hedge Bedstraw and caterpillars may be found between June and October. Mick Farmer did well to capture this photograph of the moth feeding.
This attractive beetle, related to the rove beetles, was found under a dead log. It feeds on fungi growing on deadwood, and is found from time to time in Wyre when logs are examined in the summer. They are up to 6mm long.
This colourful cardinal beetle has emerged in Wyre and can be found on ground vegetation in May and June. There is another closely related species with a red head, although this black-headed species seems to be the more commoner of the two in the Wyre Forest. Their larvae live under the bark of dead trees.
Mick Farmer spotted this Painted Lady in his garden in Bewdley recently, one of the first to be seen locally. It has flown north from its emergence site, probably in North Africa. This cosmopolitan migrant can arrive any time in spring or summer prior to breeding here later in the summer. Eggs are generally laid on thistles and the adults that result in this country show some southerly migration in the autumn.
On sunny days in May Pearl-bordered Fritillaries may be seen flying in Wyre. They are often difficult to track as they fly so quickly like golden jewels above the ground vegetation, but Roger Plant was able to get this beautiful photo of a female when the sun went in and it had stopped for a rest.
The Bluebells were delightful in parts of Wyre this year. Many were in flower in the middle of April and they lasted right through May giving us some beautiful woodland scenes.
In New Parks there is an 8 foot high wooden post in a sunny glade. Wood Ants (Formica rufa) were observed climbing up carrying nest material, so Roger Plant devised a cunning technique to successfully obtain a photograph of the top of the post. We know that these ants often centre their nest on a dead log – but this pole is a bit ambitious! We shall have to see how the nest develops.
Ann Hill pointed out this small delicate moss on the trunk of an oak tree. A brown nerve protrudes from the tip of each leaf and these are often surrounded by clusters of brown gamma. The leaves curl up when dry. This is not common in Wyre, so it was good to record it this week. It has increased in Britain in recent years.
This Bullhead (also known as Miller’s Thumb) was found underneath a stone in Park Brook. Closer inspection revealed its eggs attached to the stone. Apparently, in the spring the male makes a shallow hollow in the stream bed in which several females lay eggs. Then he guards the eggs until they hatch after about a month. He was certainly very amenable to having his photograph to be taken under water before we gently replaced his stone.