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Post Info TOPIC: Compstall (other wildlife)


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RE: Compstall (other wildlife)


First BUTTERFLY of the new season at Lower Watermeetings farm near the ETW. Unfortunately, it was a brief (less than 5 seconds), semi-distant view, so the best I could do was narrow it down to comma (probable) or small tortoiseshell (maybe). Whichever it was, it is always a notable event.



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Andy Bissitt wrote:

A circuit starting at the old library, taking in the riverside path, Watermeetings farms, Marple Aqueduct and Brabyns Pk. Everything was butterflies really, with Brabys the hotspot - as follows. By far the best was a White-letter hairstreak nectaring on ragwort for 20+ minutes - a site first, although they are present not far away. Others here were 7 small copper, c15 meadow brown, c10 gatekeeper, 8 small skipper, 5 ringlet & 1 red admiral. 2 brown hawkers skirmished over the weeds. Elsewhere, there was a holly blue on Rollins Ln, whilst the library/bridge area had at least 7 small white, 2 comma, and another holly blue. A buddleia at the 'pylon gap' held 3 more comma. A long-overdue good day locally.



-- Edited by Andy Bissitt on Sunday 31st of July 2022 10:06:46 PM


 I've just discovered that a tachinid fly which I photographed, lophosia fasciata, could be the first record for the county. My motto is 'if it looks different, snap it'!



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Posts: 1480
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A circuit starting at the old library, taking in the riverside path, Watermeetings farms, Marple Aqueduct and Brabyns Pk. Everything was butterflies really, with Brabys the hotspot - as follows. By far the best was a White-letter hairstreak nectaring on ragwort for 20+ minutes - a site first, although they are present not far away. Others here were 7 small copper, c15 meadow brown, c10 gatekeeper, 8 small skipper, 5 ringlet & 1 red admiral. 2 brown hawkers skirmished over the weeds. Elsewhere, there was a holly blue on Rollins Ln, whilst the library/bridge area had at least 7 small white, 2 comma, and another holly blue. A buddleia at the 'pylon gap' held 3 more comma. A long-overdue good day locally.



-- Edited by Andy Bissitt on Sunday 31st of July 2022 10:06:46 PM

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If I'd turned on my computer tonight and seen that a Greater Manchester birding tick had been in the county, and I didn't know, I might have felt a bit low. However, I'd seen this instead - a truly awesome WASP BEETLE. Guess which I'd rather have seen? Said to be 'common' in the guides, I'd only seen one previously (in Dorset) in 40+ years of pursuing wildlife, so I may not see one again at that rate!



-- Edited by Andy Bissitt on Friday 13th of May 2022 09:46:49 PM

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A welcome return to butterflies, with a peacock seen near Compstall Bridge (where old mills have been demolished). 



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Enough insects to keep interest up, and keep me guessing as to what they are. Brabyns Pk. p.m. Eight species of butterfly; the higher numbers being c20 meadow brown, 11 small tortoiseshell, & 6 each of large skipper and (year firsts) ringlet. Also 2 silver 'Y' moths. Of the other stuff that I think i've sorted out, Welsh Chafer and the hoverfly eristalinus sepulchralis were best finds: orange ladybird is always nice to see. The beetle was only a second-ever, and the hoverfly a first in Grt. M/c.



-- Edited by Andy Bissitt on Tuesday 29th of June 2021 09:45:59 PM

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Andy Bissitt wrote:

Two main areas were of interest this afternoon: the area from Compstall bridge to Lower Watermeetings farm, and Brabyns park. Things had come alive after the rain, so there was a lot to look out for. Species I think I have identified so far are the tiny micro moth stigmella aurella (I'll probably have to ask experts on another micro I saw), the weevil polydrusus cervinus, and a family of spiked shieldbugs which scattered as I approached - only my 2nd ever record of them. There were many of the soldier fly Broad centurian, and a male swollen-thighed beetle was seen in Brabyns. The beauty of hunting inverts with a camera is that there are still species on 'film' which I need to sort and that might be new to me.  


 P.S. I also took a photo of a bug that struck me as being something new, and have had confirmation (from the guys who run the site 'British bugs') that it is deraeocoris flavilinea, a species which was first recorded in the UK in only 1996. It has since expanded rapidly and is known to have reached at least Yorkshire. Another example of our warming climate. My example was only a nymph, so I will be keeping an eye out for the adult in coming days.



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Two main areas were of interest this afternoon: the area from Compstall bridge to Lower Watermeetings farm, and Brabyns park. Things had come alive after the rain, so there was a lot to look out for. Species I think I have identified so far are the tiny micro moth stigmella aurella (I'll probably have to ask experts on another micro I saw), the weevil polydrusus cervinus, and a family of spiked shieldbugs which scattered as I approached - only my 2nd ever record of them. There were many of the soldier fly Broad centurian, and a male swollen-thighed beetle was seen in Brabyns. The beauty of hunting inverts with a camera is that there are still species on 'film' which I need to sort and that might be new to me.  



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A clear-felled area of Redbrow Wood is proving to be quite productive as it regenerates. On 9th I recorded a hoverfly I do not believe I have come across before Melangyna umbellatarum (which has been confirmed by an 'expert' as being a female). Also one of the more usual hoverflies Leucozona glaucia. An example of an Ectemnius wood-boring wasp was photographed, but they are very difficult to tell apart. Also saw Marsh snipefly, sicus ferrugineus (a bee parasitoid), and a mating pair of wasp-mimics Conops quadrifasciatus. A sloe (or hairy) shieldbug was a bit more straightforward to i.d. Various butterflies included a small copper, which was definitely benefiting from the wood having been torn apart. Some winners then.



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With so little bird action this spring, I have turned to insects more than ever. Nothing too special, but on Wednesday the bug rhabdomiris striatellus was found (crawling on me!) in Redbrow Wood. Don't think I've ever seen one before, and quite a striking little animal.



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Hummingbird Hawk moth feeding beside St Paul's Church around mid-day today for about 15 mins today.

Exciting to see one this far north, certainly new to me outside the far South of the country, though the butterfly conservation migrant-watch site shows a fair few in the region.

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