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


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RE: Sunfield Estate, Romiley (other wildlife)


Around the golf course yesterday, the first Ringlets were about (17), whilst other species included 45 meadow brown, 11 small tortoiseshell, 9 large skipper and 2 red admirals. A couple of 5-spot burnets also. Today, as I passed through on the way back from Werneth Low, an adult male emperor was cruising a quiet corner of the course; first for me this year.



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Jury still out on the sawfly. In the meantime, here's a photo of the odd-looking insect in question.



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First meadow browns today at the golf course (6), and the tattiest small copper I have ever seen. As one species emerges, another bows out (for now). Best sighting, though, was of what I think was the sawfly abia candens, but as this is a rarity I will need to seek advice. Whatever, it is a really smart looking beast.



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Some kind of lift-off in the moth world last night (at last), with over 20 species seen including a few micros. Highlights were a garden-first Purple-bar, a 2nd only Grass rivulet, and a Pale Tussock was the first for eight years. Other included peppered moth, ingrailed clay and scalloped hazel. It was so atmospheric with no plane or train noise (or drunks); a tawny owl called quite close by, and what I think was a oystercatcher went over (I was stood on a chair at the time trying to reach the purple-bar, so it did not register properly). Great stuff.

Picture of Grass rivulet:

 



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What can only be called a reasonable afternoon around the Golf course site. Best 'spots' were of the first Large Skipper of the year (just one!), and also 3 small heath which I'd guess I haven't seen here for 10-12 years. Moths were 8 silver-ground carpet, 1 common and 1 dark-barred twin-spot carpets. 20 azure, 4 large red, and 2 blue-tailed damsels were the odonata. The rest was as I'd expect e.g. swollen-thighed beetles, agapanthia villosoviridescens, red/black froghoppers, oedemera lurida, hawthorn shieldbug etc...

 



-- Edited by Andy Bissitt on Monday 25th of May 2020 10:02:47 PM

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Last evening had the rare event of two mammals using my garden simutaneously. Whilst a wood mouse was availing itself of seed spilt from the feeder, a bat was buzzing it overhead.



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A black sexton beetle was attracted to my moth trap last night (it crashed noisily into the window). Quite an arresting species due to its size. It was nearly all I caught of any note, as only a single pug moth (which was not identifiable) was in the trap this morning. However, when I went out to photograph the beetle later (which I'd kept in the fridge overnight), I found a superb Alder kitten which had obviously been hiding and the sun had caused to move. About the 3rd or 4th record for the garden, and quite a good find anywhere.



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Andy Bissitt wrote:

A very mixed bag of insects today, but nothing too attention grabbing (at least until I've studied the photos). Most notable were first small copper of the season and the first azure damselflies. Also a couple of large red damsels, red & black froghoppers, and a few green longhorn moths. Perhaps a bit early yet, but had to act quickly before the return of cold weather again. It's going to be one of those Summers.

P.S. One of photos seems to be of a mottled umber larva. Always an event seeing any moth larva.



-- Edited by Andy Bissitt on Wednesday 6th of May 2020 08:38:11 PM


 I've just been informed that another moth that I photographed yesterday is the 'very local' grapholita lunulana. Finding something 'of meaning' always makes the effort (and aches) more worthwhile.

 



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A very mixed bag of insects today, but nothing too attention grabbing (at least until I've studied the photos). Most notable were first small copper of the season and the first azure damselflies. Also a couple of large red damsels, red & black froghoppers, and a few green longhorn moths. Perhaps a bit early yet, but had to act quickly before the return of cold weather again. It's going to be one of those Summers.

P.S. One of photos seems to be of a mottled umber larva. Always an event seeing any moth larva.



-- Edited by Andy Bissitt on Wednesday 6th of May 2020 08:38:11 PM

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Amazing! I had the moth trap running for over 8 hours on Thursday night, and caught precisely nothing. Sat here at my computer now, and a flame carpet flies in through the window!! That's 2 new species for the year caught whilst not trying (or wasting electricity).



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Not quite Sunfield, but certainly Romiley: Finally confirmed two breeding species of newt in our (small) pond today. Pic of very fine palmate (left) and smooth (right) side by side. Very happy!



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Romiley golf course had the following butterflies this p.m.

c20 orange tip, 5 peacock, 2 (minimum) of each of small and green-veined whites, 1 brimstone, 1 speckled wood. Not a lot else (a mining-bee parasite which I need to check), but did manage to see a bank vole sunning itself in a small gap in the weeds and brambles which is a not very common occurrence.



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Just sat at my computer now when I heard a 'ping' as something hit the glass lampshade above me. To my surprise, a twin-spotted quaker then landed on the wall next to my bed! Not had one in my moth trap so far this year (including last night), but did trap a satellite which was only a second ever I think.



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Another early first with a debut for speckled wood this afternoon on the first field off the estate. Also my first large white flew through (easy to get size difference as a small tortoiseshell chased it), and the first female orange tip was on Hilltop nearby. Also a grey-haired mining bee was on a dandelion.



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An afternoon visit to the railway bridge just off Sunfield estate brought 5 species of butterfly including what I'm fairly confident was my earliest holly blue ever (9 days later last year, even in THAT Spring). Also 1 orange tip, 2 small whites, a comma & 2 peacock.



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Just 20 minutes after I had finished gardening at 4.40 p.m., I spotted a wood mouse scuttling about in an area I have fenced off to keep the larger birds from the seeds and stuff. It then shuttled back and forth between there and our next door neighbour's garden where it entered an upturned plastic container/bin on several occasions. Not a very usual daytime observation!!



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Only a few days after my previous attempt at mothing drew a complete blank, last night brought a reasonable catch for my garden, with 12 moths of 6 species:- Small & Common quakers, Double-striped and Brindled pugs, Hebrew Characters, and a Clouded Drab. Unfortunately bad times are a coming for the next several days, with cold nights forecast. 

Today brought a year-first butterfly in a small white spotted from my bedroom window across a few gardens. Ran outside to the end of the block to confirm as it sunbathed on an ivy bush.



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To make it appear like my daily exercise, I walked from home to Romiley Golf course this p.m. I usually drive these days to protect the old bones. Really worth it, with at least 35 individual butterflies seen. Best were 2 brimstones; a female on Romiley common (very pale), and a full-on yellow male on the golf course. At least 19 peacocks were seen in all. Other things were years first common wasps and an as yet unknown shield bug. Back home, a pipistrelle type bat was hawking over my head as I set the moth trap up this evening. It's all go - for now!



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Lucky that a footpath runs 50m from my front door. In the nearest field (that does not have the scourge of horses) there were 3 small tortoiseshells and 2 peacocks this afternoon. A comma was an additional species seen yesterday from the nearby railway bridge. I may be filing reports from here for some time (weather permitting)



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Three species of butterfly around the golf course area today: 2 peacock, 1 each comma & small tortoiseshell. At least 4 species of bumblebee, including a few tree and large red-tails. All spirit lifters.



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Pipistrelle type bat flying around neighbouring gardens at 5.00 p.m. this afternoon.



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Fleeting glimpses of first butterfly of year in garden at c noon. Prob small tortoiseshell. Then it began to rain. Never mind, things are looking up.



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1, probably 2 pipistrelle type bats flying down the Peak Forest Canal (near Aldi) towards Chadkirk at 4.05 p.m. Then, when I got home about 30 minutes later, there was also one hunting over my garden. Certainly more interest than the afternoon's birds had provided!!



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Still seeing red admirals close to home. One this morning flying around neighbour's garden. Hoping they might make it into November, we can do with all the cheering up we can get in these bleak months.



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After a 3 week absence, a painted lady returned to enjoy the sunshine in my garden late morning/early afternoon, joining the 2 red admirals and a comma.



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Was very surprised to find my garden's insect of the year this late in the year this afternoon when, whilst looking at the red admirals and comma on the buddleia, a hummingbird hawk-moth flew in to join them! Nearly had an unhappy ending as after a minute or so, the resident robin spotted it and shot out of nowhere straight for it. Thankfully, I think it was distracted by the red admiral taking off from the same sprig of flowers, and the hawk-moth got away. Excellent action.



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A sunny window of opportunity this morning/early p.m. brought 2 red admirals and a comma to my garden. Two hours or so later, it was monsoon time again.



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Got to grab any possible last chance for butterflies, so at the Golf Course this afternoon I found the following:- 2 red admirals, 11 comma, 4 small tortoiseshell, 1 small copper, 3 speckled wood and 2 peacock. Also 6 silver 'Y' moths and 5 common darters. 

In addition to these, I had 3 painted ladies in my own garden, as well as 3 red admiral and 2 small tortoiseshell. Looks like the sun is being turned off tomorrow for a while.



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Still managing to get four species of butterfly in the garden. Today's were red admiral, painted lady, small tortoiseshell and small white. A bit of sunshine promised on most days this week so might hang on into October hopefully. Makes the gap before they are seen again seem shorter (February if it follows this year)!



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Birds being thin on the ground (in the air; everywhere), a bit of sunshine is welcomed to keep some insect interest going. Golf course area this afternoon:

8 comma, 7 speckled wood, 7 painted lady, 2 red admiral, 3 small tortoiseshell, 1 large white, 1 peacock. 5 silver 'Y' moths. 9 common darter, including a pair ovipositing, and 2 male Southern hawkers. Was surprised to see the escaped Harris's hawk is still around.



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Yesterday evening. Pipistrelle type bat just before sunset hunting over garden. Then about an hour later a wood mouse was seen by the light of my moth trap. Mothing was again poor though (dusky thorn about the best there was).

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Romiley Golf Course area Saturday p.m. 

12 species of butterfly seen included part of the painted lady invasion (37), as well as 35 gatekeeper and 3 small copper. Highlight by far though was a new site record of Wall. Not seen one around Romiley for 30+ years I'd say. Was very fresh so had not come far. I wonder where from?

Just after lunch today, a vapourer moth landed on my living room window. Very unusual to see one at rest (and be able to catch it and take a couple of record shots).



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As near certain as I can be that I had a record number of butterfly species in the garden for one day (up until 2.00 p.m. or so). Ten species is good for anywhere really. Managed all 3 expected whites, 6 peacock (a record), 3 painted ladies (a record), holly blue, speckled wood, red admiral, gatekeeper, and comma. Only small tortoiseshell let me down, so there's hope of going higher yet.



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Best day of Summer yet for garden butterflies (by some way), with 5 species: small and green-veined whites, gatekeeper, small tortoiseshell and comma.



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A mothing night yesterday brought a garden first, a muslin footman. Everything else fairly standard stuff though.



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1st local gatekeeper on the golf course this p.m.



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Summer marches on. 1 or 2 purple hairstreaks seen from railway footbridge this p.m. More whites than I'd seen for some time (4 to 6) were cruising the railway embankment, too distant for me to i.d. A red admiral and 2 speckled woods were on Romiley 'common'. A vapourer moth was seen in flight at the first site mentioned.



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I have found the butterflies, as usual at the best local site, Romiley golf course! Top three were: ringlet c120, small skipper c75, Meadow brown 55. Other species inc. red admiral (4), comma (3) and painted lady (3). ALso c20 5-spot burnets. I'm not a plant person really, but I did notice an orchid which I would say was a 'spotted' of some kind. Nearest I've ever seen one to home I'm sure.



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Not a bad showing around the Romiley golf course area, for butterflies anyway. 28 meadow brown, 24 large skipper, 3 holly blue, 5 painted lady (certainly the most I've ever seen on one site at the same time), and singles of peacock, small copper, small tortoiseshell, red admiral and speckled wood. Not many day flying moths, with just two yellow shell, 1 silver-ground carpet and 1 nemophora degeerella. 1 broad-bodied chaser seen at a distance twice.



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A quick 45 minutes round fields close to home this p.m. revealed a paucity of butterflies with only 5 seen. The quality was pretty good however, with singles of large skipper, painted lady and red admiral, the latter being my first one since February! For the record I also saw two speckled woods.



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First records of holly blue (seen from kitchen window) and 2 speckled woods (around Hilltop,although I'd seen one in the morning at Audenshaw). Also first female orange tip (just off Sunfield Estate).



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Romiley Golf Course area. p.m.

All eyes to the ground on a day like today (sorry birds), and managed an insect first which has somehow evaded me in the past. Gorse shieldbugs were everywhere, c30 counted but probably more. Also seen 3 species of ladybird (7-spot c25, 1 cream spot and c5 harlequin), drone fly, tawny mining bee, willow flea beetle (also new to me I think), and a few others which need research. Not many butterflies: 3-4 peacocks and 1 comma.



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A tree bumblebee was found on my doormat as I was leaving the house this afternoon. I took it to the back garden. Later, my brother found another one in the garden shed so must have been a waking-up kind of day for them.



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Amazingly managed to wrap up all 5 overwintering species before the end of February with Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, RED ADMIRAL and 2 commas all seen on Werneth Low this p.m. (from the Greave end up to Hyde Cricket Club). Also a colony of about 30 mining bees was in full swing in the roadside bank, species yet to be checked but obviously an earlier than usual one. Don't expect to see a different species of butterfly now for at least a month so some good birds better turn up!



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Joy arrived! A local a.m. jaunt specifically for butterflies found a Brimstone north of Romiley Golf Course, and a Comma at Greave Fold. Sad that of the 5 butterflies which can over-winter as adults, the ones which struggled the most last Autumn (small tortoiseshell and peacock) prove the point that they are in a bad way by being beaten to the count by the two I did see.



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At least 3 species of bumble bee, 2 of hoverfly and two 7-spot ladybirds on the estate this afternoon. Seems ridiculous when just a few meters away there are redpolls and a brambling in my garden!



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First hoverfly seen yesterday, but I was neither 'equiped' nor near enough to it to name.



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Many honey bees both yesterday and today, but joined today by a white-tailed bumble bee and what was probably (haven't checked photo yet) a common wasp (a big one!).



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David Walsh wrote:
Andy Bissitt wrote:

 

At least 4 honey bees on the mahonia today, plus other 'bluebottle-ish' insects. Are they too early as they were last year?



 



You had them in January last year, Andy. Honey bees fly according to the outside temperature, not time of year, so could be seen on any day of the year, at temperatures above six or seven Celsius. In periods of prolonged cold, they will take "toilet flights" even in extremely cold conditions.

This week promises to be a decent one for bees, so don't hang out any white washing wink


 Thank you David. My remark was really with reference to the fact I had seen them in January last year, and we all know what happened after that. I guess they just go back to bed (good idea)!

 



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Andy Bissitt wrote:

At least 4 honey bees on the mahonia today, plus other 'bluebottle-ish' insects. Are they too early as they were last year?





You had them in January last year, Andy. Honey bees fly according to the outside temperature, not time of year, so could be seen on any day of the year, at temperatures above six or seven Celsius. In periods of prolonged cold, they will take "toilet flights" even in extremely cold conditions.

This week promises to be a decent one for bees, so don't hang out any white washing wink

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