Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Trip Report Sunday 21st October: PILNING WETLANDS RESERVE / AUST WHARF
Leader:  Mark Turnbull

15 Members from Bath RSPB and BathNats met on a cold and misty morning at Aust Wharf
We initialy set off in the direction of the old Severn Bridge and within 15 minutes  we were rewarded with excellent views of a Short-eared Owl hunting over the salt marsh.
After walking back to the cars we decided to drive to New Passage and view the waders that would be visible on the shoreline , the problem we had with that was the thick fog and the temperature had dropped considerably so this part of the trip was cut short.
We recorded a total of 29 species during the day
(a full list is available on request )
Mark Turnbull

Friday, 12 October 2012

Moth larvae

Taken this morning, Friday 12 October on a wooden door surround on my patio.

Regards, Carole Catling

Brimstone moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)
A common and widespread species in Britain, occurring in three overlapping generations in the south, graduating to just one brood in the far north. Adults can be expected on the wing at any time from April to October, depending on the locality and number of generations, and occurs in any suitable habitat.The larvae feed on a range of trees and bushes, including hawthorn (Crataegus) and blackthorn (Prunus spinosa).

Thank you Carole a Very interesting and well camouflaged larvae.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Combe Down Garden

Elephant hawk found in my garden at Combe Down, both were feeding on small flowered Willowherb, the darker specimen was twice as big as the lighter one but neither were very big the largest about 2" so could be small elephant hawk. I am going to rear one of them to see which it is. Hopefully will be able to post a photo of the adult next year.

From   Paul Wilkins (Bath)

Thank you Paul

More Photos from the Garden click here

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Trip Report


Nettle-tap  ( Anthophila fabriciana)
A total of 18 Nats members attended this meeting on a thankfully dry day.
It wasn't long before most of the group saw our first Dipper of the day , another was seen right at the and of the trip.
16 species of bird were recorded including Grey Wagtail , Great-spotted Woodpecker , Nuthatch and Buzzard.
It was interesting to find 20 species of flowering plants at this time of year.
Insects were a little short on supply but we did find 7-spot Ladybird , Harlequin Ladybird , Green Shieldbug ( Larval stage )Click here for photo and a Shieldbug - Coreus marginatus ( Larval stage )Click here for photo.
Several fine specimens of fungus were also on show including Honey fungus , Sulpher Tuft , Dead mans Fingers and a Milkcap - Lactarius vellereus.
3 species of snail were found - Amber snail , Copse snail and White-lipped Banded snail.
In the brook some of the group saw Brown Trout. Trip Photos click here

Thank you Mark

Monday, 1 October 2012

Trip Report

“Nature in Georgian Bath”: Report on visit to Bath City Centre, led by Marion and Alan Rayner, 30th September 2012
Click here for Photos

Fourteen members gathered outside Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, Queen Square, on a cloudy but dry afternoon. It was not long before we encountered our first surprise: a grassy bank on the edge of Royal Victoria Park, riddled by what must have been thousands of Ivy Bees(Colletes hederae ) first recorded as new to Britain in 2001 ardently buzzing in and out of their burrows, with many a sexual encounter along the way! Many questions were asked – why here, why now? – but few were answered with any certainty. We moved on, eventually, 50 metres or so, and stood underneath an oak tree, gazing up into the canopy at some of the dead branches colonized by the wood-decaying basidiomycete fungus, Vuillemenia comedens. Alan told the story of how just such observations had led, over thirty years previously to a new understanding of tree decay, pioneered by himself and Lynne Boddy. We moved on a few yards and gathered around a stone monument on each side of which was a distinctive array of lichens and mosses. We climbed up to the gravel walk leading towards the Royal Crescent and examined velvety sprawls and cushions of mosses and the leafy liverwort, Lophocolea bidentata, covering a walled bank, conveniently located knee-high. Then, on ground outside the Georgian Garden, a blanket of the thalloid liverwort, Lunularia cruciata, covered in its crescent moon-shaped gemma cups and intermixed with a fine felt of the moss Kindbergia praelonga and moss-like flowering plant, common pearlwort, Sagina procumbens. Next was a poplar tree whose leaves were covered in spots of rust fungus and numerous cup galls and branches inhabited by goldcrests and long-tailed tits. By the side of the Royal Crescent was a line of lime trees with leaves darkened by sooty moulds, amidst which lurked spectacular scarlet and black pupae of Harlequin ladybirds. Then we walked along pavements with cracks filled with the silvery sheen of the moss Bryum argenteum and the liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha, and by trees covered in mosses and lichens following the rainwater drainage courses down their trunks and branches. And that was only the beginning of an afternoon that amply supported our view that a rich variety of wildlife can be found almost anywhere, with some experience of where to look, how to look and what to look for in any given situation. 

Thank you Marion and Alan