Went over to Burray to have a day looking at things in BH's Orkney garden. The main target was to see the hoverfly Cheilosia bergenstammi which I've been unsuccessfully searching for over here in the West but BH sees them each year in his garden. Close to the end of the season for this species, indeed the latest date BH has recorded them is 19 August.
At least it was still and the drizzle ceased pretty much as I arrived. Fortified by tea and biscuits we headed out. Mission was accomplished relatively easily with three of the target beasts located and photographs clinching the ID. So I twitched a hover, mmmm.
Whilst searching for the hover I came across a moth, it was flighty and having presented initially with nice open wings it subsequenty refused to do so again once I had the camera at the ready. I made some pretty pathetic, flailing attempts to net the beast before BH calmly potted it.
Best pic I could manage. Leastways it turned out to be Shaded Broad-bar, which I'd kind of suspected. An Orkney tick, at least, might even be a lifer.
We pottered about a bit more, BH was taken by this mildew (I think) on Plantago lanceolata. I snapped it anyway. And we mooched along the seashore without a huge amount of enthsiasm.
|It might be Podosphaera plantaginis, on some fairly superficial internet research.|
We had a further circuit of the garden and this hoverfly escaped BH's deft potting skills. I got some rubbish pictures and although we got it to the correct genus we were somewhat bemused by its true identity. CS at the hoverfly scheme identified it as P. clypeatus agg.
|Platycheirus clypeatus agg.|
There were a few Sargus soldierflies about, flighty and awkward to photograph but I eventually got a few shots of this one.
|Sargus flavipes, NFM.|
BH then found a very nice and cooperative Tenthredo sawfly.
|I think this is Tenthredo mesomela, awaiting confirmation.|
BH showed me this fungal gall of Alder, it only infects the female trees.
|Taphrina alni, Alder tongue gall.|
I photographed Microchrysa polita, which I don't see much of back West.
And this nice bug.
here's a leaf mine on birch, BH identified this as Agromyza alnibetula.
|Agromyza alnibetula in Downy Birch.|
Time for lunch and a very good Sweet Potato soup with plenty of chilli, fab!
After more tea and biscuits and armed with my trusty white umbrella it was time for a bit of bush bashing. At this point we discovered a difference in technique. I tend to go for it with a large stick and give the vegetation a good bash, sharp bashes on woody branches to dislodge stubborn beasts. BH takes a more measured approach, so being the guest I deferred. I was surprised at our success, maybe I've got this wrong.
In the first area we ended up with some weird larvae that bemused us, a good pile of cats and various bits and bats, this off Alder, Willow, Sycamore and Rowan.
|Apparently larva of brown lacewing, Micromus sp, perhaps M.paganus.|
|Brimstone Moth cat, we caught a few of these.|
|These are Common White Wave cats I'm informed.|
We then moved on to the two small, but apparently quite old Downy Birch trees in another part of the garden. BH quickly spotted this very smart micro.
|Epinotia trigonella, NFM I think, not many Orkney records.|
And that was about it. A good day, main objective accomplished, some other interesting stuff found, can't get much better than that.
|Common White Wave, later instar.|