Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Bathroom drama

These eggs were laid a few days ago, I think the spider is Tegenaria domestica (a small Teg)?? The spider has been identified for me as Zygiella x-notata (the English name is odd, Missing Sector Orb-web spider). The female hung around the eggs for a day or so and then disappeared up the wall and away. This evening I noticed something was taking an interest in the eggs. It looked to me as if the ovipositor was probing the nest. If I'm correct this is an interesting relationship, the adult would find the wasp a prey sized item, however, the parasite may well be gaining the upper hand! I'm hoping that identifying the spider correctly might lead to identifying the wasp? Any ideas on the spider ID very welcome - thanks to LJ for ID.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Deerness visit

I don't often go birding east but the Deerness peninsular can be very good for migrants and Sandside Bay is quite a hotspot with a quality list of migrants recorded there. However, yesterday there were Swallows and a Chiffchaff.


Along the way at East Denwick Plantation there were hundreds of larvae of Striped Alder Sawfly.

Hemichroa crocea

Saturday, 2 September 2017


That moment when you lift the egg tray (or bit of egg tray) out of the trap and you glimpse something special is brilliant. It doesn't happen often, but when it does it's the thing that keeps you going through the tangled cables, the temperamental electrics, the escapees that must have been special and the midge bites and stinging nettle burns. So today was a good day, third trap, last but one egg tray and.... drum roll - Great Brocade.

Great Brocade

I've only caught this species once before here. A migrant with a supporting cast of two Dark Sword-grass.

Dark Sword-grass.

Other than the GB there were a good few other NFY this morning with Setaceous Hebrew Character, Ear agg (I've kept this to dissect out) and Small Wainscot.

 Small Wainscot

Setaceous Hebrew Character
(The Ear doesn't want to upload.)

There was also a nice selection of micros with Acleris rhombana, Acleris variegana and Acleris sparsana, all species I like to see.

 Acleris rhombana

On the avian front all rather quiet just the first Goldcrest of the autumn in the garden, a few Robins and at Palace the usual wader selection and resident Whooper. (Except for the warbler that bobbed up in front of me in the garden for a second and then disappeared - unstreaked Accro maybe.)

Shed, Palace.

Lastly a Psychodidae (90 odd species swines to ID) was in the kitchen this evening. It posed nicely, only 5mm or so wing tip to wing tip.

More lastly; after an exciting and unexpected trip to Kirkwall yesterday afternoon, after work, to deliver the forgotten driving license, elder daughter passed her Theory Test, just the practical to go then.