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Post Info TOPIC: Sunfield Estate, Romiley (other wildlife)


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RE: Sunfield Estate, Romiley (other wildlife)


One of the ponds on the golf course had 8 common darters, 2 brown hawkers (1 ovipositing), 3 blue-tailed and 1 or 2 emerald damsels.



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For those who are interested in these sorts of things (and why wouldn't you be?), an alder sawfly was present in my garden yesterday. Apparently this had to be a female as they reproduce through parthenogenisis. This is why insects are so fascinating.



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In brief window of sunshine this morning, first painted lady of year for me was in the garden. Was apparently here yesterday too, but I wasn't!



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14 species of butterfly around the golf course area which inevitably included a first site record of purple hairstreak (see previous post) with no less than 7 seen , 1 in one tree and the others in another about 100 meters away. As the species tally did not include small tortoiseshell or red admiral (both 'missing'), it was very respectable. Amongst others seen: 2 small copper, 3 holly blue, 6 peacock, 4 comma, 28 gatekeepers & 1 large skipper hangs on. Also recorded 1 antler moth and 10 silver 'Y'. 1 brown hawker.



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Astonishing record of a purple hairstreak nectaring on one of my garden buddleias this evening. This is their Summer, no doubt. I would not have bet on ever having one in my garden even at 500-1.



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Unbelievable record of a female purple hairstreak in neighbour's sycamore this evening! It was right over the garden border and gave good views through binoculars (even opened wings flat showing little purple, hence the female analysis). Just so I could count it properly, it left after a battle with a holly blue and flew over 'my' airspace. As good as any wildlife experience ever encountered from my garden. biggrin



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As if to prove my previous post, I checked the oaks in the hedgerow running along the footpath that borders Sunfield estate this afternoon and saw two purple hairstreaks flitting around, one basking in the sun eventually. This is only 50 meters from my front door!



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An afternoon vigil at Quarry Rd. railway bridge (Romiley) at last brought the sight of a purple hairstreak after about 10 years of looking! Better still, it settled over the road about 12 feet up in an oak and I was able to get a pretty good shot considering the breeze and distance (near maximum magnification used). Another individual was also seen in the oaks. A stroll afterwards to Romiley Common (about half a mile away) gave more distant but clear views of another one. If you haven't seen a purple hairstreak in the county, this is the year to.

 

 



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Things looking up in the butterfly world. A patch of flowering thistles by the Marina held 8 small tortoiseshell and a couple of commas. A holly blue was seen from Quarry Rd rail bridge.



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After 31 years, still getting new species of moth for the garden. Last night it was slender brindle, which is rated as having only local distribution, so not bad. Glad it managed to avoid the pipistrelle type bat which was cruising the garden at dusk.



-- Edited by Andy Bissitt on Tuesday 3rd of July 2018 09:58:25 PM

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First ringlets of the year around the golf course area yesterday (c15), and small numbers of meadow brown, large skipper and 2 fresh speckled woods. Double figure numbers of narrow-bordered 5-spot burnets also. Not too bad as it was 98% cloudy. Obviously today was worse, but I did find the larva of a mullein moth in the garden this evening, which was a first. Not total gloom then.

Andy.



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Incredible (and scary) that on a day like today I saw more moths than butterflies during a couple of hours round the golf course area. Half a dozen silver 'Y', 5 silver-ground garpet, 1 clouded silver and the first cinnabar of the year. Only butterflies were a small scattering of whites (inc orange tip). Was perked up a bit by the sight of three different broad-bodied chasers (adult fem, sub-adult male, and immature of unknown sex), and a few damsels of three species. Best was a fast-escaping large blue/green hawker, which can only have been a very early Southern, that fled over the trees.

In last 30 mins, lily beetle and pipistrelle type bat in/over garden.



-- Edited by Andy Bissitt on Sunday 27th of May 2018 09:27:49 PM

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First local odonata recorded; first yesterday (12th) on Romiley Common, a large red damselfly (1st for site). Today at the golf course there was also an LRD, and also 8 azures. Insects at last responding to spring with a massive hatch of red & black froghoppers, and a couple of moths disturbed viz. common carpet and small phoenix (site first).

Just after typing this, went downstairs to close curtains and a moth, no doubt from last night's abortive trapping attempt- it started raining, flew out. Turned out to be a waved umber, a first for the garden. Excellent.



-- Edited by Andy Bissitt on Sunday 13th of May 2018 10:05:02 PM

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First pipistrelle type bat of the year flying round the garden in the last hour - good news.



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After an awful afternoon wearing myself out walking round the local Country Park and, frankly, being bored stiff, returned home to find a comma in my garden! 



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Seeing as we don't all get to hear a first cuckoo as a sign of Spring any more, the first butterfly has to be the substitute. 2 peacocks at Romiley golf course this afternoon, plus a small number of bees, probably of the andrena species. Will be checking photos.



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Andy Bissitt wrote:

 David,

I guess as you call them 'mine', you own a hive or hives? If not, you obviously have a better eye for them than I do. My best and most recent guide book on insects states that March is the time you might start to see them, but I know quite a few insects buck the trend in mild conditions. I hope to see more very soon. I cannot get by on birds alone any more; there aren't enough around these days.

Andy





Andy,

I do indeed have hives, and so do notice the comings and goings of the honeybees more than most. Although I own the hives, I sometimes feel that the bees own me - they obviously haven't read the manuals! Good job they've been around for millions of years, and seem to know what they're doing. smile

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David Walsh wrote:
Andy Bissitt wrote:

 

The rather out-of-season sighting of at least 10 honey bees feeding on a flowering mahonia just near my front door at 11.30 a.m. Also a bluebottle. Soon be Spring (but not this week!)



 



Honeybees forage whenever the temperature rises above six or seven degrees, Andy. Mine have been collecting pollen from cobnut and hamamelis in the garden for the past three weeks. Sometimes sunshine can lure them out in freezing conditions, when telltale smudges of yellow faeces in the snow give them away (or on neighbours' cars). smile


 David,

I guess as you call them 'mine', you own a hive or hives? If not, you obviously have a better eye for them than I do. My best and most recent guide book on insects states that March is the time you might start to see them, but I know quite a few insects buck the trend in mild conditions. I hope to see more very soon. I cannot get by on birds alone any more; there aren't enough around these days.

Andy



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Andy Bissitt wrote:

The rather out-of-season sighting of at least 10 honey bees feeding on a flowering mahonia just near my front door at 11.30 a.m. Also a bluebottle. Soon be Spring (but not this week!)





Honeybees forage whenever the temperature rises above six or seven degrees, Andy. Mine have been collecting pollen from cobnut and hamamelis in the garden for the past three weeks. Sometimes sunshine can lure them out in freezing conditions, when telltale smudges of yellow faeces in the snow give them away (or on neighbours' cars). smile

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The rather out-of-season sighting of at least 10 honey bees feeding on a flowering mahonia just near my front door at 11.30 a.m. Also a bluebottle. Soon be Spring (but not this week!)



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Another pipistrelle type sighting today at 3.20, so light was still good. Flying quite low round a residential area just one block back from the busy 'High St.' through Romiley.



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2 or 3 pipistrelle type bats along Healdwood Rd after sunset this evening taking advantage of the weather window.



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November, and we still have butterflies! Isn't climate change wonderful wink . I red admiral in the garden and 2 or 3 around Hilltop near home. Every chance of still being around tomorrow and beyond...



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13 red admirals were nectaring on a fairly small patch of ivy at Hyde Bank this p.m., plus a single speckled wood.



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Romiley golf course area again. One of the ponds had 2 male southern hawkers, an ovipositing brown hawker and one or two common darters. Just like summer was supposed to have been! Hoverfly sericomyia silentis seen for second time in last two visits.



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A butterfly bonanza by recent standards. Romiley golf course - p.m.

8 red admiral

5 comma

2 peacock

1 small tortoiseshell.

probable speckled wood too, but let's not be greedy.



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Only second-ever appearance of dark sword-grass in the moth trap last night. Little else (dusky thorn excepted), but that didn't matter.



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In a very routine moth year, a new one for the garden is a red-letter day (well, night), even the strangely named Old Lady. Only one previous encounter with this species, about ten years ago, in a pub in Marple (the barstaff thought I'd gone mad when I asked for a glass to rescue a moth). Always gives you hope that there is something new out there to catch. 



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2 pipistrelle sp. bats outside front door (during break in innings in T20 quarter-final). First time I've seen more than one for some time, so good news. One was feeding constantly just a foot or two from the ground.



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Romiley Golf Course this p.m.

46 gatekeeper, 53 small skipper, c75 meadow brown, c40 ringlet, 8 (min) green-veined white, 3 red admiral, 1 comma , and, the losers this year so far, 1 small copper and 1 small tortoiseshell. 

2 brown hawker on grassland, and 1 ovipositing in pond, 1 emperor, and first common darter of the year. Pond also had blue-tailed and azure damsel. Pond poor this year due to clearance of water weed and other aquatic stuff during winter meaning less places for larva to hide from fish.



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Another day, another new butterfly for the garden - this time even better; a ringlet. Just as with the skipper yesterday, it was bound to be just a 'fly-through', until the giant butterfly trap that is our greenhouse intercepted it. Luckily, I saw it enter and was able to capture it for study and confirmation. To think there were none anywhere in the area only 5 or so years ago, now it's a garden species!

Also today: holly blue, meadow brown again, comma and red admiral. There have been more species in the last two days than in the previous six months put together. Also mothing last evening had a July Highflyer, only 2nd ever in 20-odd years.



-- Edited by Andy Bissitt on Sunday 9th of July 2017 08:49:21 PM

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A small skipper was trapped in our greenhouse this afternoon, captured and released. Almost certainly a first for garden. Actually had 4 species today including very infrequent visitor meadow brown. Things hotting up!



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Romiley Golf course this p.m.

An unprecedented count of ANY species of butterfly in my experience in Greater Manchester (or anywhere as far as I recall) - no less than 195 ringlets present. All other species (except for 55 meadow brown) in tiny numbers by comparison, but included 10 small skippers (year 1sts), 4 large skippers, 5 red admirals, a painted lady and a sad, lonely small tortoiseshell. Some species win; some lose. c10 cinnabar moths also seen.

Also 1 brown hawker, 1 southern hawker and an immature male (probably) emperor which actually landed in the grass a couple of times (see pictures). Not bad for a couple of hours sunshine.



-- Edited by Andy Bissitt on Saturday 1st of July 2017 08:41:58 PM



-- Edited by Andy Bissitt on Saturday 1st of July 2017 08:44:36 PM

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Two glorious days for insect hunting, apart from the pollen count.

17th Romiley Golf course area: 26 meadow brown, 10 large skipper, 1 small copper (RIP), 2 ringlet, 3 speckled wood, 1 red admiral, 1 green-veined white: moths - 2 green carpet (including a fresh green one), 4 blood-vein, 1 clouded border, other carpets in small numbers, i cinnabar. 

2 agapanthia long-horned beetles, 3 swollen-thighed beetles. Seemed a little quiet for the conditions.

18th just off Sunfield estate. 9 large skippers, 3 red admirals (flt-throughs), 2 speckled woods.



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Visited the golf course area this afternoon and found a good selection of insects - apart from butterflies which were in abysmally low numbers. I saw no more than 6 individuals of three species (inc. one red admiral). Compare that to macro moths with no less than 44 individuals of five species (35 silver-ground carpet, 3 silver 'Y', 3 cinnabar, 2 common carpet and 1 blood-vein). Also 3 broad-bodied chasers, and 17 azure damsels (with more than 10 also at one of the ponds). Also a species of 'abia' sawfly which I will need to research. Brock's guide to the Insects of the U.K. seem to point towards the uncommon 'candens', but I'm not confident - yet. I am finding that this is much more demanding than bird watching!!

Back home, the butterfly of the day was in my garden - a painted lady resting up after the sun had gone in. 



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Taking nectar from the larval food plant, it would appear?

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Seven species of butterfly this p.m. around golf course area included year first small white, and increasing numbers of orange tips (8 at least) including 2 females as per photo. The underside of the wing of this species is one of the wonders of the world in my opinion.



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First female orange tip (with two males), two holly blues and a speckled wood all on Romiley Common in the brief sunny slot this morning.



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Pipistrelle bat just seen now at end of block for the first time this year.



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First holly blue of the year on the 'common', also female grey-haired mining bee which I don't think I've seen before.



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Orange underwing moth seen in flight (second successive Sunday, but wasn't 100% sure last week), near Romiley Golf Course. First moth I've seen this year (apart from one briefly at window the other night).



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A quick butterfly hunt prior to lunch found 1 brimstone at Romiley common, and 1 small tortoiseshell just off Sunfield estate.



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Weds. 15th p.m.

2 commas & 1 small tortoiseshell near Romiley Golf Course on a beaut of an afternoon. Great to be back into insects again. A zebra (jumping) spider in my garden in the a.m. was pretty early for one of those.



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A remarkable sighting of a pipistrelle type bat over my garden at 3.35 p.m. yesterday. Flew in a direct line from the distance over the house, so wasn't hunting as such. Didn't really have that many sightings during their 'proper' season this year.



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9 species of butterfly near golf course this p.m. included new site record of 103 gatekeepers (and that in not the best of conditions). Other insects included a few antler moths, some cinnabar caterpillars, and one each of common darter and southern hawker.



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A record busting 27 ringlets at the golf course site this afternoon (in not too favourable conditions). 15+ were in flight, and in sight, at once and I almost felt like I was seeing something often described from a bygone era. Only three other species though, but meadow bown and large skippers in goodish numbers compared with the same date last year. Also seen - 2 blood-vein moths.



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Painted Lady in garden close to home this morning, and another two seen in rapid flight (westwards) near the golf course in the afternoon. Most other butterflies not yet emerged or already finished first broods so really very quiet as yet. Thankfully some moths appeared last night with 15 new species for the year in the garden, mostly common stuff, but common swift, hereld and sallow kitten not often caught here.



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First holly blue just spotted in garden.



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1 Red Admiral on Romiley Common this morning. We have lift-off!!!!!

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9 Red admirals; 1 comma, 1 speckled wood on a walk round 'hilltop'. 1 hawker, which was probably southern, but could conceivably have been migrant, also flew too high &/or fast for me to identify positively.

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