Aug 072018

30th: Bullfinch heard in Treshnish wood.
This female Furrow Bee was in exactly the same spot (by the farm road near the Treshnish Old Schoolhouse) as the male on the 27th so it is probably a Common Furrow Bee . It entered a nest burrow.

Went to Ensay waterfall to do some bee-ing. No sign of any blood bees but this is Smooth Faced Furrow Bee. This was accepted as Considered Correct and is a new species for me.

It entered a nest burrow at the exact spot where blood bees were exploring burrows of photographed but unidentified Lasioglossum furrow bees on the 25th and 26th of June. At that time I had thought that the host-parasite pair could be Common Furrow Bee and Box-headed Blood Bee. Now that this furrow bee has been accepted as Smooth-faced the likelihood is that the blood bees I have been seeing here are actually Furry-bellied Blood Bees Sphecodes hyalinatus but it impossible to be certain without killing a specimen. Furry-bellied Blood Bee is much smaller than Box-headed and fits better, as the ones I saw were about the same size as Little Nomad Bee which were present at the same time on one occasion.
This was another accepted as Plausible Smooth-faced Furrow Bee.

I thought this tiny bee was one of the mini-miners, and because it is the only one recorded on Mull, Impunctate Mini-miner. But I was wrong this has been confirmed as a male Halictid species. Halictids includes both ‘Furrow Bees’, Lasioglossum and Halictus. This one was tiny so if it is a Halictus it is probably Bronze Furrow Bee [Accepted as Plausible]. It would be a new species for Mull.
You can compare the sizes of this and the Smooth Furrow Bee above by looking at the Ling

A short note on the expert status ‘Plausible’. Plausible really doesn’t mean much. It just means that it can’t be ruled out. Not a great vote of confidence and in fact a few times a recorder has expressed doubt and still given the ‘Plausible’ verdict. I have managed to get a record of a Plausible species changed to a different species and Accepted as Correct by the addition of better or a more zoomed in feature.
I mention this because after the above bee getting the ‘Plausible’ verdict I have become doubtful. A male Bronzed Furrow Bee should have a longer antenna. I also think it is a Lasioglossum not a Halictus. Based on the choices below I will re-submit it as White-footed Furrow Bee.
Small Lasioglossum species recorded in Scotland:
Turquoise Furrow Bee L. cupromicans [I see spots of light blue reflecting but not turquoise]
White-footed Furrow Bee L. leucopus [This looks like a possibility]
Green Furrow Bee L. morio (rare in Scotland and only in south)
Long-faced Furrow Bee L. punctatissimum (rare in Scotland and only in south)
Rufous-footed Furrow Bee L. rufitarse (lot of records around Inverness)
Smeathman’s Furrow Bee L. smeathmanellum (rare Scotland)
Shaggy Furrow Bee L. villosulum (scarce in Scotland)

One of the Picture-winged Flies near the Nissen hut, possibly Euleia heraclei.

Bullfinch heard in Treshnish wood.

27th: 1 male Common Furrow Bee on heather by the road beside Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
I’ve only seen one other before, last year in September. Many female furrow bees are unidentifiable from photographs.

This is a possible Megasyrphus erraticus. If so it is a good find, it is Nationally Scarce.

Rhingia campestris
, my first of the year. I have only see it twice before, both last August.

Sericomyia silentis

20th: Bullfinch heard every day for last 10 days in Treshnish wood.

A pair of Sericomya silentis were performing a mating or territorial display at the top of the sitheans. I think the latin name must be some kind of joke because they were making a lot of noise, a high pitched ringing noise whilst stationary and other noises during short flights.

Pair of mating Sphaerophoria on wall up to sitheans.

1 female Gwynne’s Mining Bee (confirmed) in our garden.

Another male Gwynne’s Mining Bee on Common Mouse-ear at our back door [Accepted as Plausible].

1 Emerald Damselfly on Sitheans pond (my first of the year).

19th: 1 Myathropa florea on our potatoes

Eristalinus aeneus/sepulchralis in our garden

18th: Carolyne has found some Wood Avens near Treshnish House. Lynne Farrell’s team of recorders found some at Treshnish Point in 1997 but otherwise these are the only 2 records at Treshnish.

16th: 1 female Gwynne’s Mining Bee in our garden but poor photograph.

Also a male Gwynne’s Mining Bee [confirmed].

15th: The Painted Lady and mystery caterpillar I’ve been rearing have both pupated.

14th: Found some Water-pepper by the gate into the graveyard field. It is a new plant for Treshnish.

13th: 1 Willow Warbler at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.

12th: 1 Whitethroat

and Willow Warbler at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.

10th: 1 Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler and 1 Peregrine at Treshish Old Schoolhouse.

This Heath Groundsel was found in our garden. According to the old Mull Flora it is rare on Mull but the new VC103 Rare Plant Register doesn’t have it listed so it must have become more common. The leaves and stems aren’t sticky, the achene (seeds) are hairy and the flower heads are very small, 5mm across, ruling out Sticky Groundsel.

9th: 2 Bullfinch at Treshnish old Schoolhouse.

I found these caterpillars on nettles in our garden.
This, I’m pretty sure, is a Painted Lady

I have no idea what this is but it looks like a butterfly larvae.

This is Knot Grass. When they are larger they don’t look so orangey as the hairs become more spread out.

I’m sure this must be a Heather Colletes [later confirmed] in grass by our back door but not sure it will have enough detail to get verified. I have only seen it once on 25 September last year. Northern Colletes is a rare species of dunes and machair found on Iona, Coll and Tiree but is unrecorded so far on Mull.

I think this is Heath Bumblebee [later confirmed].

This is probably just Garden Bumblebee [later confirmed] but I’m hoping the dark collar might mean it’s one of the Cuckoo Bees.

8th: 1 Bullfinch at Treshnish old Schoolhouse.

Slow moving male Early Bumblebee must be getting near the end of its life

I think this is a Moss Carder Bee

7th: 1 Willow Warbler and 1 Whitethroat at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
1 Keeled Skimmer in Black Park. I haven’t seen this species at Treshnish since 2013. In total I have seen it here 5 times (counting 2 consecutive dates as 1). One time I saw a pair. This is an overmature female, lacking the glorious blue colour of the male.

Black Darter at same spot as the Keeled Skimmer in Black Park. This is my first of the year.

In the cow-barn field at the bottom of the steep slope in the hair-pin bend a Pyrausta purpuralis micro-moth.

I have caught a brownish one once before in the moth trap and took a very poor shot of a purple one like this at Tostary-Burg.

I think this must be of of the Carder Bees. I’ve never see one with a red tail but they do occur. I think there is too much pale colour on the thorax and abdomen for a worn Early Bumblebee. [Verified as ‘Considered Correct’]

My only Myathropa florea hoverfly of the year. Last year I only saw 2 (on 27th July and 3rd August)

6th: 1 Bullfinch at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse

5th: 1 Whitethroat at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
The last of  my reared Silver Y subspecies nigricans emerged yesterday evening. I kept it overnight to get a shot in the morning but it was restless so I let it go without a nice shot.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly eating a Carder Bee. This is a very late record for Treshnish although I have records from 2nd, 4th & 5th August.

3rd: Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Blackcap and Spotted Flycatcher in Treshnish wood
Haunn guests saw Barn Owl this last week at or near the box between 28th July and 3rd August.

 August 7, 2018

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