Thursday, 21 August 2014

Harlequin Ladybird

A new ladybird has arrived in Britain , but not just any ladybird : this is the Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) , the most invasive ladybird on earth . It has a very variable appearance which can make it difficult to tell apart from our native ladybirds . It has already invaded much of northwest Europe and arrived in Britain summer 2004 . There are 46 species of ladybird resident in Britain and the recent arrival of the Harlequin Ladybird has the potential to jeopardise many of these . Very diverse Harlequin,s have strong dispersal capabilities and can be found in many places . Most commonly found on deciduous trees , such as lime , sycamore and maple , and on low growing plants such as nettles . They also inhabit reedbeds , coniferous woodland and crop systems . Like all ladybirds it undergoes a complete metamorphosis , pr-adult development takes about 14 to 20 days and adults begin to lay eggs after 5 days . A single female can lay over a thousand eggs . Harlequin Ladybirds feed most commonly on aphids , but have a wide food range also feeding on scale insects , the eggs and larvae of butterflies and moths .and many other small insects including other ladybirds , pollen , nectar , and sugary fluids including honeydew and the juice from ripe fruits .

Monday, 18 August 2014

Common Blue

The first Common Blue butterfly for a year put in a appearance around the pond this afternoon , also good numbers of sawfly lava around . Four Jays three Siskins (two juveniles and an adult male) , and a single juvenile Great Spotted Woodie all on the feeders late afternoon.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Dot Moth

Yet another new one this time the larva of a Dot Moth found by Brian .

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Weird and Wonderful

This weird and wonderful little creature is the larva of the Vapourer Moth another new addition to the wood list.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Two Lady's in the wood

Brian found the first Painted Lady butterflies of the year yesterday with two being noted along with another sighting of our local Stoat . Dragonflies were out in good numbers too with several Common Darter and Southern Hawkers around .

Saturday, 2 August 2014


A stoat was seen this morning briefly in the garden by our neighbour, its the first record for over a year . A female Siskin continues to visit the feeders along with a stunning male Bullfinch and a juvenile male Great Spotted Woodpecker . An adult Hobby occasionally asserts terror into the local Swallows as it hunts over the farm fields , and the local Tawny Owls are now becoming quite vocal.   

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Small Skipper

Small Skippers can be found around the quarry area of the wood.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The One that got away

A Chocolate-Tip moth was trapped last night bringing the total to 150 so far. Unfortunatly it got away before it was photographed . Three Comma butterflies and two Brown Hawker dragonflies early afternoon , also Holy Blue which is only the second record in four years.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Jewel in the wood

Emerald Damselfy has been missing from the woodland list until this evening when one was found and photographed on the pool . Its still seems amazing that this little jewel has never been recorded before or is it just overlooked.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Elephant Hawkmoth

Images of a Elephant and small Elephant Hawkmoth showing comparison side by side.

Saturday, 19 July 2014


From this ...................

To this in 24 hours.................

Helpless and Speechless as our wood disappears before our eyes.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A few good things

A few good things around today with the first emergence of the year of Gatekeeper's and Small Skipper's  . A pair of Brimstone along cottage lane also good numbers of Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral's . Meadow Brown's , and Large Skippers were also well accounted too . An adult Southern Hawker was patrolling the pool and a female Siskin visited the feeders .

First emegance of Gatekeeper's this year in the wood .


Sunday, 13 July 2014


Another five Southern Hawkers hatched this afternoon on the pool , bringing this years total hatchings to 25 . The image below is off a female Ghost Moth .

Saturday, 12 July 2014


Xanthogramma pedissequum is a very smart black and yellow hoverfly with its yellow face , yellow stripe running along the edge of the top surface of its thorax and yellow markings on the sides of the thorax . It is predominantly a grassland species but it also occurs along woodland rides . Its range is mainly southern counties where it is widespread , but there are a few scattered records from central Scotland.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Two New Moths

Another good session with the moth trap again last night with two new ones for the wood bringing this years total upto 89 species with 150 all time,the two new ones were Beautiful Hook-tip and Single dotted Wave . A single female Siskin was seen around the feeders late afternoon , I still have my theory that they breed somewhere in the wood . A few more Southern Hawker casings appeared again today with two adults noted drying out . Various Grasshoppers and a good number of Butterflies are starting to appear around the wood , sometime soon I will have to do a count .

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Sunday, 6 July 2014


Several more Southern Hawker casings were found around the pool today with two dragonflies noted drying out . The warm weekend has seen good numbers of Grasshoppers emerge and the first Hobby of the year noted late afternoon over the farm field .

Meadow Grasshopper.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Blue-tailed Damselfly

Another first in the wood today in the form of a single Blue-tailed Damselfly on the pool , it was found late afternoon and is a welcome addition to the list with only three other damselflies being recorded . Also another Ringlet was seen this evening along with three Red Admirals , a single Small Heath and good numbers of Meadow Brown . No more Southern Hawker casings were found today so hatching seems to have slowed down for a while , with fifteen being found over the weekend. And late news from yesterday a female Redstart was seen on the fence posts along the farm track .

Blue-tailed Damselfly .

Sunday, 29 June 2014


Southern Hawkers have again started to emerge on the pool with 10 hatching yesterday and another five today . A young male Great Spotted Woodpecker is visiting the feeding station along with several young Robins and Blue Tits. Red Admirals were out in good numbers this afternoon with seven being noted along the top path , and only the second sighting of a Ringlet which is quite a scarce Butterfly in Cheshire , with four individuals being found in two locations .

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Swallows Arrive

The first Swallows arrived back at the farm today six days earlier than last years date , two birds seen mid-morning hawking for insects over the farm fields wonderful sight .

The first male Blackcap was heard and seen well around dinner time so looks like there as been a push up the country by a few spring migrants today possibly due to the mild weather . This years Blackcap is also six days earlier than last years . So where are the Willow Warblers they should be first !!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Resident Nuthatch

We put up nest box and within days our pair of Nuthatches have made it their new home !!!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Back Online

Its been quite a while since this blog as been updated but now its back all guns blazing and ready to go .
On the bird front the feeders are still very active with hourly visits by Lesser Redpoll's , Siskin , Nuthatch , Reed Bunting (3) , and many many other woodland species . A few Redwing are still hanging on before there long journey back to Scandinavia , Snipe and Woodcock have not been recorded for over a month now and several Chiffchaff have arrived but as yet no Willow Warbler . A couple more nest boxes have been added and already a pair of Nuthatch are regular visitors to the one right next to the window Mmmmmmm looks good .

No Butterflies have been recorded yet but that's only a matter of time . Mammals seen so far this year are Fox , Reed Deer , Rabbit , and Wood Mouse .