Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Variable summer weather is perhaps more the norm here in North Wales than in some other parts of the UK, although we still feel hard done to when yet another day dawns doomed to be overcast. There are many compensations though, one of which is that when the odd sunny, or partially sunny day occurs, the insects come out in force in search of sustenance. I photographed all of the following along Bryn Euryn’s Woodland Trail during a fleeting sunny spell a couple of weeks ago.

The woodland trail

The shady woodland trail

On the edge of the trail a substantial bramble was still flowering and literally buzzing with insects, mostly hoverflies and bees. There were two butterflies, a Red Admiral and a Comma that were flying around rather frantically, both of which briefly (and separately) landed on my arm. Poor things were clearly overcome by the presence of both sun and nectar. I would have liked a more conventional shot of the Comma, this being the first I’d seen here this year, but it was taunting me from high over my head so this was my best view. I rather like it and it’s clear from the outline that it is a Comma.

The Comma insisted on playing hide and seek

The Comma insisted on playing hide and seek

The hoverflies were very active, not pausing for long but these are the ones I could get to fairly easily:

Volucella pellucens-Pellucid fly is the largest fly in Great Britain

Volucella pellucens- sometimes called the Pellucid fly, this is the largest fly of Great Britain

150712TG-Bryn Euryn-hvfly-Volucella pellucens (7)

A gorgeous Volucella zonaria

A gorgeous Volucella zonaria – my first sighting here

A Tapered drone fly-eristalis pertinax grooming its legs

A Tapered drone fly – Eristalis pertinax

Eristalis nemorum (interruptus)

Eristalis nemorum (interruptus)

A more distant view of a Helophilus pendulus

A more distant view of a Helophilus pendulus

A Syrphus sp hoverfly-Syrphus ribesii - one of the most common species

A Syrphus sp hoverfly-Syrphus ribesii – one of the most commonly seen species

A tiny Marmalade fly-Episyrphus balteatus, probably our most common hoverfly

A tiny Marmalade fly-Episyrphus balteatus, probably our most common hoverfly

There were bees too, including lots of tiny red-tailed and buff-tailed worker bumblebees that were way too quick for me to focus on.

Honey bee

Honey bee

A less charming insect to many, I find the Flesh-eating fly-Sarcophaga carnaria rather attractive to look at. I think the white feet complete the look, makes it look rather dapper.

Flesh-eating fly-Sarcophoga carnaria

Flesh-eating fly-Sarcophoga carnaria

The trees are still green and fresh-looking thanks to the rain and cooler weather, although those in the top right of the next picture are looking quite lacy.

150712TG-Bryn Euryn-looking up into an ash tree

Looking up into an Ash tree

Continuing along the trail I hear a few birds letting the world know they are still about, Chiffchaff song bursts were fairly frequent, I heard Wrens and the contact calls of Blue Tits and plenty of corvid cawings. I found this feather too, maybe once belonging to a Magpie, it gleamed shades of almost peacock-blue in the dappled sunlight.

A corvid feather

A corvid feather

Honeysuckle is in flower now on the trail’s  edge and I couldn’t resist stopping to inhale its clean, fresh fragrance.

Lovely scented honeysuckle

Lovely scented honeysuckle

There is purple Hedge woundwort too, which has an earthy pungent, nettle-like scent.

Pungently scented Hedge Woundwort

Pungently scented Hedge Woundwort

Foxgloves are almost over-flowering reduced to the tips of the long bent-over  stems

Foxgloves are almost over-flowering reduced to the tips of the long bent-over stems

Wood sage-Teucrium scorodonia

Wood sage-Teucrium scorodonia

And a St John’s Wort I’d not spotted before, which I think is hypericum montanum, but happy to be corrected as always.

Pale St John's Wort-Hypericum montanum

Pale St John’s Wort-Hypericum montanum

A rather unusual plant grows here in the shady woodland, delightfully named the Stinking Iris and sometimes the ‘Roast-beef Plant’, both names allude to the sweetly acrid smell, like ‘high’ meat. This is one of just two Iris species native to the UK; the other is the Yellow Flag Iris.

The charmingly-named Stinking Iris-Iris foetidissima

The delightfully-named Stinking Iris-Iris foetidissima

Closer look at an Iris flower

Closer look at an Iris flower which is a greyish-mauve tinged with a brownish-pink

The much more common Nipplewort

The much more common Nipplewort-Lapsana communis

A Nipplewort leaf showing the path of a leaf-miner

A Nipplewort leaf showing the path of a leaf-miner

I picked a couple of ripe wild wild strawberries, trying not to think about the fly sitting on a leaf above them and their proximity to the path along which there is a regular procession of loose dogs….. They were delicious, regardless.

Sweet-tasting Wild Strawberries

Sweet-tasting Wild Strawberries

Turned off and took the steps up to Adder’s Field

Steps leading up to the meadow

Steps leading up to the meadow

more treats were in store there but there’s far too much to cram into one post, so will be continued….