Jul 102017

31st: 9 Redshanks flew over Treshnish wood and up Ensay Burn.
Went to look for Carolyne’s Painted Lady caterpillars below Treshnish House. I saw 2 very quickly on the 28th but I was strimming so didn’t have my camera. Today it took about half an hour to find one. There were many webs but they were all empty. Some had earwigs in them.
This looks very different from Carolyne’s

Accidentally got an interesting out of focus shot of a Fox Moth

Chocolate Mining Bee

possible Ancistrocerus scoticus wasp again around our house.
30th: 1 Black-headed Gull flew over Treshnish wood towards Treshnish House.
Two very differently sized mining bees at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. I didn’t get good shots of the smaller one.

I presume this larger one is Chocolate Mining Bee.

I am not sure if this is the Chocolate Mining Bee. It was taken at immediately before the photos above but looks smaller

Two new hoverflies today although not sure they can be identified to the species level.
Possible Chrysogaster solstitialis

and possible Riponnensia splendens

and another possible Cheilosia proxima

Also photographed Meliscaeva auricollis, Melanostoma scalare and Eristalis intricaria.
There were many Cheilosia illustrata and 4 Tachina grossa.
Another sighting of the wasp which I am presuming is Ancistrocerus scoticus

First Common Darter of the year and at least 5 Scotch Argus around Treshnish Old Schoolhouse
28th: First Scotch Argus of the year at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse although didn’t get a good look.
One Sericomyia silentis, many Cheilosia illustrata and 4 Tachina grossa.
27th: Probably a Chocolate Mining Bee. I can’t figure out the mouth parts.
See also photo of flying one on 23rd and the protruding mouth parts also on 23rd.

No doubt about the identification of this new hoverfly, Myathropa florea

Ichneumon wasp Haemorrhoicus crassigena

25th: Mining bee with 100-400mm zoom

and possibly same, 2.5 hours later with close up lens

Embarrassingly my  first Common Blue in garden today. Guests saw one about three weeks ago.
Another new hoverfly Cheilosia proxima although these black ones are tricky and I could be way off.

Also photographed Platycheirus albimanus, Platycheirus peltatus and Sericomyia silentis.
Ichneumon wasp Netelia testacea

The wasp like insect I photographed on the 23rd was sawfly Tenthredo notha not a wasp.

This was wasp-like insect hunting for small insects in the grooves of our car. It looks like the same animal photographed on the 10th. It could be the wasp Ancistrocerus scoticus

24th: Had a look at the newly fenced off machair at Calgary. First impressions were that it has more growth so I walked to a spot where I have previously seen Field Gentians (c200 in 2009 & c500 in 2010). At the usual spot I saw a few but didn’t count them but continued surveying along a parallel line. Further along I saw a huge patch of over a thousand and further along several hundred more. It would take several hours to survey the whole area but it was incredibly impressive for only a few months of sheep free growth. I have looked every year for Frog Orchids which used to iccur but so far no luck although I am sure they will be back very soon.

Saw first Helophilus pendulus hoverfly of the year at Calgary machair.
Caught a fleeting glance of a bee with a white tail and grey thorax. It can only have been Field Cuckoo-bee which is rare in Scotland but without a photo it will have to be the one that got away.
Also saw the enormous fly Tachina grossa at Langamull House.
First Small Tortoiseshell at Langamull house

and first defenite Meadow Browns at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and a possible Painted Lady.
New hoverfly Sericomyia silentis at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. It is huge.

Also many more Cheilosia illustrata there today.

Ichneumon wasp Exetastes adpressorius = Exetastes guttatorius, or a close relative

23rd: I am going to have to up my game if I want to identify any mining bees without killing them (which I’m not going to do). So I tried with a close up lens but first these two with the 100-400mm zoom.

and possibly different individual

These were close up lens. These miners don’t mind a lens a couple of inches away unlike hoverflies.

The dangley fibrous things are the galea but I don’t understand how it all works!

New hoverflies:
Cheilosia illustrata (although the thorax is very rufous)

Eristalinus aeneus
(although not sure how low the eye hair can extend to separate from E. sepulchralis)

Also photographed Eristalis pertinax, Melanostoma scalare, Meliscaeva auricollis, Platycheirus scutatus, possible Eristalis arbustorum and Xylota segnis (some of the latter seem to be vary enormously in size).
Tenthredo notha a sawfly

That black fly again, I think it is Tachina grossa

22nd: An immature Golden Eagle over Treshnish wood.

2 Swifts over Treshnish wood at 9.45am and 1 at 6.15pm.
21st: 1 Swift by Treshnish House (10.45am).
I was adding all Roger Morris’s identifications to my records and photos and found what I think is a new species. Platycheirus scutatus group from 19 June this year. It has a bunch of hair at top of front leg (femur).

I received a batch of hoverfly id clarifications this morning from hoverfly author Roger Morris. It is Christmas. Will update diary photos later.
I expect to get many wrong!

Arranged by date, latest above:

Parasyrphus punctulatus on 10 Jul is Eupeodes corollae
Melanostoma scalare on 10 Jul is ‘Melanostoma scalare as we currently know it’
Syrphus vitripennis female on 10 Jul is Syrphus sp.
Meliscaeva auricollis
on 9 Jul X 2 are correct
Melanostoma mellinum on 9 Jul is a Platycheirus sp.
The wasp like insect from 28th June is indeed a hoverfly and probably Sphegina sibirica (the photo in his book threw me)
Sphegina clunipes on 28 Jun ‘Difficult to be sure about Sphegina from photos – the majority cannot be done with any confidence I’m afraid’
Cheilosia species on 28 June is a Cheilosia species

Platycheirus manicatus on 28 June is correct
Cheilosia impressa on 26 June is probably a Anthomyiid (another fly family)
Scaeva pyrastri on 26 June is correct
Syrphus vitripennis or torvus on 20 June is a Syrphus species but not identifiable without microscopic examination
Platycheirus peltatus on 20 June ‘This is probably peltatus group but females are very tricky and cannot really be done with absolute confidence in many cases (especially in Scotland). So best stick at Platycheirus sp.
Xylota segnis on 20 June is correct
Eristalis intricaria on 20 June is correct
Scaeva selenitica on 19 June is Scaeva pyrastri

Eristalis nemorum on 19 June is Eristalis horticola
Helophilus trivittatus on 19 June is correct
Helophilus hybridus on 31 May is correct

Helophilus pendulus from 13 Oct 2016 is correct
Syrphus ribesii from 10 Oct 2016 is Eupeodes corollae

Syrphus ribesii from 6 Oct 2016 is correct (a female)
Platycheirus albimanus from 6 Oct 2016 is Meliscaeva auricollis
Helophilus pendulus from 6, 9 & 10 Oct 2016 are correct (females)
Platycheirus albimanus from 14 Sep 2016 correct
Syrphus ribesii from 14 Sep 2016 is a Syrphus sp.
Syrphus ribesii from 14 Sep 2016 is female Syrphus vitripennis or torvus
Syrphidae species from 6 Sept 2016 is possibly a Bacchine with fungal attack
Syrphus vitripennis or torvus on 6 Sep 2016 is Syrphus sp
Melanostoma scalare from 6 Sep 2016 is ‘mmm yes I think M. scalare
Eristalis intricaria from 2 Sep 2016 is correct (male)
Eristalis pertinax from 18 Aug 2016, 2, 4 & 6 Sep 2016 are correct

Chrysotoxum arcuatum from 2 Sep 2015 is correct
Syrphus ribesii from 2 Sep 2015 is correct (a female)
Eristalis intricaria from 31 Aug 2015 is correct (female)
Eristalis arbustorum from 24 Aug 2015 is correct
Episyrphus balteatus first seen on 1 Aug 2011 but seen on almost every sunny day. Correct id

Not too bad.
Three ‘new’ species are Sphegina sp probably sibirica, Eupeodes corollae and Eristalis horticola
but ‘l
ost’ Cheilosia impressa, Melanostoma mellinum, Scaeva selenitica, Eristalis nemorum. and Parasyrphus punctulatus.

I received expert identification from some of the non-bumbleebees from this month.
The small one on Speedwell on the 11th ‘is an Andrena species, but not A. scotica [Chocolate Mining Bee]. Probably A. bicolor [Gwynne’s Mining Bee] 2nd brood, but can’t be 100% sure due to the pollen coverage’
The ones I thought were a Chocolate Mining Bees on the 10th, 11th and 12th were also ‘Andrena species, but not A. scotica [Chocolate Mining Bee]. Probably A. bicolor [Gwynne’s Mining Bee] 2nd brood, but can’t be 100% sure due to the pollen coverage.’
So now I have to get a photo of one without pollen coverage to get conformation of a new species for me

20th: Mining Bee

and an hour later possibly same

Four new hoverflies:
Melangyna species (not identifiable to species level, I think)

Meliscaeva cinctella

I had this as Platycheirus angustatus it is actually Platycheirus albimanus 

Syritta pipiens

Also recorded Platycheirus albimanus, Meliscaeva auricollis, Eristalis pertinax, Eristalis intricaria, Syrphus species and the daily Marmalade Fly.
18th: 2 Swifts at 5.45pm and 1 about 2 hours earlier (my first of the year) over Treshnish wood and lochan.

They often turn up when we get high pressure. Also 2 or 3 Mealy Redpolls around Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
Sorry more of these miner/furrow bees. I get a thrill seeing them bathing in the anthers of the flowers. I tried bringing this one in to see if it would pollinate our Cucumbers but it wasn’t having it.

An hour and a half later, possibly same

A massive fly Tachina grossa.

17th: Another mining bee and this time, I think I have a photo without a lot of pollen coating. I am not even going to try identifying it but I think it is an Andrena species.

Garden Bumblebee

First definite sighting of the year of the bee-mimic hoverfly Eristalis intricarius. The white ‘tail’ is much more obvious in flight.

Meliscaeva auricollis

and possibly Platycheirus manicatus

12th: I think this is a juvenile Mealy Redpoll. I was snapping away like mad to try to get a shot of the rump but just when it showed well the memory card was busy (realised later it is because I now always shoot in RAW and JPEG so it takes longer to save). It had a very clear white rump. I’m not sure if juveniles can be reliably separated but if it can then it is proof of breeding.

1 Common Tern off Treshnish boathouse, 1 Reed Bunting to east of boathouse. 5 Spotted Flycatchers in same place as last few days. There was an adult with 3 fledglings but not sure if the 5th was an adult or juvenile.

Another Chocolate Mining Bee

Possible new hoverfly but couldn’t get a good shot

11th: 10 Common Gull fledglings on the lochan

with 1 or 2 more only able to swim. Also found one drowned and another dead beside the nearest wind turbine.
Later they were flying over Treshnish wood.

This adult was playing dare with the new dog Nige. It flew a short distance several times and for a while I thought it was injured or had a fledgling nearby.

I guess this must be Chocolate Mining Bee

This one looks smaller. It is on Speedwell.

10th: 7 recently fledged Common Gulls on the lochan

with another only able to swim.

The latter was being dive bombed by an adult, which seemed strange.

The adults are highly protective in a communal way and it makes no sense to attack a chick. I am pretty sure it wasn’t a Herring Gull chick. 2 fledglings were seen flying towards the coast so that could be a total of 10 juveniles.
Spotted Flycatcher fledgling beside Treshnish House and a couple of hours later an adult and juvenile in same place as yesterday. 1 juvenile Golden Eagle over Treshnish lochan flew to east.
Manx Shearwater drifting onto shore on high tide.

Herring Gull

First Common Darter of the year near shore below Treshnish House.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

One new hoverfly Parasyrphus punctulatus

and Melanostoma scalare which I saw last year in September

and I think this is a female Syrphus vitripennis or torvus

and female Syrphus vitripennis or torvus

I also saw a bumblee-mimic hoverfly but didn’t get a photo. It may have been Eristalis intricarius. It was large and really hovered stationary at about 1m above the lawn. The one that got away, All I saw was an orangey body with a pale ‘tail’. I think it may have hummed.
It is still exciting to see a non-bumblee bee, This is Gwynne’s Mining Bee.

Ancistrocerus scoticus wasp

9th: 71 Black-tailed Godwits flying south over Treshnish lochan.
First Spotted Flycatcher of the year near cattle grid between Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and Treshnish House. I have been keeping an eye out but they haven’t been at their normal spots at Ensay Burn cattle grid and graveyard.
4 Grey Wagtail fledglings at Ensay Burn mouth and to the west presumably recently fledged.
At least 5 Common Sandpipers at Ensay Burn mouth.
Female Blackcap feeding fledglings by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and 1 juvenile Whitethroat in our garden. They didn’t breed around our garden this year.
New hoverfly species in our garden on Rosa rugosa and on road nearby on Slender St. John’s-wort.
At first I thought it was Meliscaeva cinctella (which has the first yellow abdomen stripe bluntly triangular) but after seeing the second one nearby I see that it is actually elliptical (the first has a hint of a duller bluntly triangular) making it Meliscaeva auricollis. Here are two.

The second one is more obvious and shows the black facial knob of Meliscaeva auricollis.

I thought this was a new hoverfly Melanostoma mellinum below Treshnish House on Eyebright. Turns out it is a Platycheirus species.

First Dark Green Fritillary of the year below Treshnish House.
A good year for Thyme Broomrape with at least 15 plants on cliffs to west of Ensay Burn mouth.
7th: 1 Common Tern off Treshnish boathouse.
6th: 2 Common Gull fledglings flying at the lochan and 1 of similar size on the water
5th: 2 Grey Wagtails in boathouse field
Whitethroat feeding young above boathouse field
Leena saw 2 Short-eared Owls over Treshnish lochan in early morning and 1 in afternoon.
4th: 1 Grey Wagtail at Treshnish boathouse
Sedge Warbler with at least 3 fledglings near cowbarn.

1 Emerald Damselfly along Treshnish north shore.
The Broad-leaved Helleborine by concrete ramp has a flowering shoot.

3rd: 1 Common Gull chick swimming on Treshnish lochan. 1 Whinchat feeding fledglings by our water supply beside Treshnish lochan.

 July 10, 2017

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