News of wildlife and other issues

Invertebrates in August

In the garden on 1st August - disturbed while grass-cutting - a Swallow-tailed Moth
 
The Capel Road moth trap on 1st/2nd August produced more than 25 species, and over 50 specimens including three species new to the area:
 
1 Crassa unitella 642
1 Blastobasis adustella 873
1 Pandemis corylana Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix 969
2 Pandemis cerasna Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix 970 (new species for the area) (pic)
1 Cydia splendana 1260 (new species for the area) (pic)
7 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261
2 Chrysoteuchia culmella 1293
2 Eudonia mercurella  1344
2 Eurrhypara hortulata Small Magpie 1376
3 Pleuroptya ruralis  Mother of Pearl 1405
1 Hypsogia costalis Gold Triangle 1413
2 Endotricha flammealis 1424

4 Least Carpet 1699
4 Riband Wave 1713
1 Common Carpet 1738
1 Yellow Shell 1742
1 Early Thorn 1917
1 Buff Ermine 2061(2nd record for the area)
1 Ruby Tiger 2064
1 Heart and Dart 2089
1 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
1 Lesser Yellow Underwing 2109
2 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2111
5 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
3 Dark Arches 2321
1 possible Cloaked Minor 2341
1 Dusky Sallow 2352 (new species for the area) (pic.)
4 Uncertain 2381
1 Rustic 2382
1 Snout 2477

On 2nd August, two Speckled Wood butterflies were observed flying around each other. This species - which I find to be perhaps the most familiar of butterflies in my garden during the summer - has been somewhat missing from sightings for about a month now. Also so far missing has been the Purple Hairstreaks that tend to fly around the tops of the Oak trees by Capel Road, and later feed on the Pear tree in the next-door garden. I have seen one, but that at Childerditch.

Lakehouse trap, 2/3 August:

1 Epiphyas postvittana, Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Cydia pomonella, Codling Moth 1261
1 Chrysoteuchia culmella, Garden Grass Veneer 1293
1 Crambus pascuella 1294
1 Endotricha flammealis 1424

1 Single-dotted Wave 1708
2 Riband Wave 1713
1 Common Carpet 1738
2 Common Footman 2050
1 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
1 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2111
1 Least Yellow Underwing 2112
1 Dot Moth 2155
1 Bright-line Brown-eye 2160
1 The Clay 2193
1 Common Wainscot 2199
1 Knot Grass 2289
1 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
1 Marbled Beauty 2293
2 Dark Arches 2321

1 Ear moth sp. (based on distribution, probably Ear Moth Amphipoea oculea 2360)

 

Capel Road moth trap on 3/4 August

1 Cydia pomonella  Codling Moth 1261
1 Chrysoteuchia culmella 1293
1 Agriphila straminella 1304 (new species for the area) (pic)
2 Eudonia mercurella 1344
Phlyctaenia coronata 1378
2 Pleuroptya ruralis  Mother of Pearl 1405
1 Endotricha flammealis 1424

3 Least Carpet 1699
2 Riband Wave 1713
1 Garden Carpet 1728
1 Common Carpet 1738
1 Lime-speck Pug 1825
1 Brimstone Moth 1906
1 Common Footman 2050
1 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
1 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2111
2 Bright-line Brown-eye 2192
1 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
1 Marbled Beauty 2293
1 Common Rustic 2343
2 possibly Lesser Common Rustic 2343. This slightly uncertain identification is the fourth/fifth records of this species, the previous being on 26/07/2005; 06/08/2005; 17/07/2006.
1 Rustic 2382


Lakehouse trap, 4/5 August:

1 Epiphyas postvittana, Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Alucia hexadactyla Twenty-plume Moth  1288
2 Endotricha flammealis 1424

1 Riband Wave 1713
1 Lime-speck Pug 1825
4 Common Footman 2050
2 Buff Ermine 2061
1 Dot Moth 2155
1 Dark Arches 2321

 

Capel Road moth trap 5/6th August:

2 Crassa unitella 642
3 Blastobasis adustella 873
1 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Cydia pomonella  Codling Moth 1261
1 Chrysoteuchia culmella 1293
1 Crambus perlella 1302
1 Phlyctaenia coronata 1378
1 Endotricha flammealis 1424
1 Aphomia sociella  Bee Moth 1428

1 Dwarf Cream Wave 1705
1 Shuttle-shaped Dart 2092
1 Flame Shoulder 2102
1 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
1 Lesser Common Rustic 2343a
2 Rustic 2382
 
 
On 8th August a visit to Leyton Flats and into Gilbert's Slade on a very warm day provided an opportunity to see how some invertebrates were faring after such a poor summer, and other than from the moth traps! On the approach to the pond, a large dark green dragonfly perched motionless on a grass stem. From its rather transparent wing-colour it looked to be a young female specimen of an Emperor. The smaller of the two Hollow Ponds was busy with small red dragonflies: approaching the pond, one or two Common Darters were basking in their usual situations on gravelly tracks, while by the pond and over the water were numbers of Ruddy Darters - which are generally less common on Wanstead Flats and in the Park. These were busy patrolling as individuals and in some cases depositing eggs into the water as a flying pair. There were some damselflies about too, of course, including the Blue-tailed Damselfly.
 
In the low vegetation away from the pond large web-sheets were noticeable, and a funnel-weaver  or funnel-web - spider Agelena labyrinthica was seen to emerge at a wondrous speed when an insect touched its web. It retreated just as quickly when it failed to catch it.
 
 
Capel Road moth trap on 8/9th August:
 
1 Hofmannophila pseudospretella Brown House Moth 647
1 Blastobasis adustella 873
2 Cydia splendana 1260
2 Acentria ephemerella Water Veneer 1331
2 Phlyctaenia coronata 1378
2 Pleuroptya ruralis 1405
1 Endotricha flammealis 1424
 
1 Least Carpet 1699
1 Riband Wave 1713
1 Black Arches 2033 (new species for the area) (pic.)
1 Jersey Tiger 2067 (new species for the area) (pic.)
1 Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2110
1 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
1 Straw Underwing 2303
 
 
Lakehouse moth trap on 8/9th August:

Micros: 14 moths of 11 species:

3 Epiphyas postvittana (Light Brown Apple Moth) 998
2 Cydia pomonella (Codling Moth) 1261
1 Crambus pascuella 1294
1 Agriphila tristella 1305
1 Eudonia mercurella 1344
1 Paraponyx stratiotata (Ringed China-mark) 1348 (new species for the area)
1 Evergestis extimalis 1357 (new species for the area)
1 Pleuroptya ruralis (Mother of Pearl) 1405
1 Endotricha flammealis 1424
Plus 1 probable Roeslerstammia erxlebella 447; and 1 as yet unidentified Tortrix sp.

Macros: 23 moths of 14 species

2 Least Carpet 1699
2 Riband Wave 1713
1 Yellow Shell 1742
2 Brimstone Moth 1906
1 Dingy Footman 2044
1 Scarce Footman 2047
4 Common Footman 2050
1 Jersey Tiger 2067
1 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
3 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2111
2 Marbled Beauty 2293
1 Copper Underwing 2297
1 Dark Arches 2321
1 Dusky Sallow 2353

 

Capel Road moth trap 9/10th August produced a number of micros which I am not certain about the species:

1 Epiphyas postvittana Light-brown Apple Moth 998
1 possibly Epinotia subocellana 1132
1 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261
1 possibly Crambus perlella 1302
1 possibly Agriphila straminella 1304
1 possibly Agriphila inquinatella 1306
1 Catoptria falsella 1316

1 Oak Hook-tip 1646
1 Maiden's Blush 1680
2 Least Carpet 1699
1 Riband Wave 1713
2 Double-striped Pug 1862
1 Jersey Tiger 2067 (this was probably the same individual as yesterday, and was not in the trap but sitting exposed on a leaf in the garden)
1 Flame Shoulder 2102
1 Least Yellow Underwing 2112 (new species for the area) (pic.)
1 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
2 Marbled Beauty 2293
1 Ear Moth 2360 (this species is very similar to other species of ear moth, but based on its distribution is almost ceratinly Amphipoea oculea)

Tim Harris reported the first Purple Hairstreaks of the area in the late afternoon of 10th August: about four flying around the tops of an oak tree in Bush Wood. Purple Hairstreaks were also seen in their usual spot flying around the Oak trees opposite my house in Capel Road on 13th August.

 

Lakehouse moth trap, 10/11th August - 32 moths of 20 species:

1 Yponomeuta evonymella  Bird-cherry Ermine 424
2 Crassa unitella 642
1 Endrosis sarcitrella White-shouldered House Moth 648
2 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
3 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261
1 Alucita hexadactyla Twenty-plume Moth 1288
1 Crambus pascuella 1294
1 Endotricha flammealis 1424

1 Least Carpet 1699
5 Riband Wave 1713
1 Swallow-tailed Moth 1922
1 Scarce Footman 2047
1 Ruby Tiger 2064
1 Jersey Tiger 2067
4 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
1 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2111
1 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
2 Marbled Beauty 2293
1 Copper Underwing 2297
1 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

 

Capel Road moth trap on 12/13th August: 93 specimens of 37 species including two new ones for the area - a European Corn-borer Ostrinia nubilalis and a Tawny Speckled Pug. Also of note were the eighteen specimens of Tree-lichen Beauty, many of which were not inside the trap but part-camouflaged against the garden bench on which the trap was sitting.

2 Lyonetia clerkella Apple Leaf Miner 263
6 Cameraria ohridella Horse-chestnut Leaf Miner 366a
1 Anthophila fabriciana Nettle-tap 385
2 Blastobasis adustella 873
2 Pandemis corylana Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix 969
1 Epiphyas postvittana Light-brown Apple Moth 998
3 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261
1 Agriphila inquinatella 1306
1 Cataclysta lemnata Small China-mark 1354
1 Pyrausta aurata 1361
1 Ostrinia nubilalis European Corn-borer 1375 (a new species for the area) (pic.)
3 Phlyctaenia coronata "Blue-spot Magpie" 1378
4 Pleuroptya ruralis Mother of Pearl 1405
1 Endotricha flammealis 1424

1 Oak Hook-tip Watsonalla binaria 1646
1 Mullein Wave Scopula marginepunctata 1689
1 Single-dotted Wave Idaea dimidiata 1708
10 Riband Wave Idaea aversata 1713
1 Common Carpet Eppirhoe alternata alternata 1738
3 Lime-speck Pug Eupithecia centaureata 1825
1 Tawny Speckled Pug Eupithecia icterata 1838 (a new species for the area) (pic.)
2 Brimstone Moth Opisthograptis luteolata 1906
2 Willow Beauty Peribatodes rhomboidaria 1937
1 Turnip Moth Agrotis segetum 2087
2 Shuttle-shaped Dart Agrotis puta puta 2092
1 Large Yellow Underwing Noctua pronuba 2107
5 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing Noctua janthe 2111
1 White-point Mythimna albipuncta 2194
1 Grey Dagger Acronicta psi 2284
18 Tree-lichen Beauty Cryphia algae 2292
2 Marbled Beauty Cryphia domestica 2293
1 Dark Arches Apamea monoglypha 2321
1 Cloaked Minor Mesologia furuncula 2341
Common Rustic Mesapamea secalis 2343
1 Ear Moth Amphipoea oculea 2360
3 Pale Mottled Willow Paradrina clavipalpis 2389
1 Nut-tree Tussock Colocasia coryli 2425

 

Lakehouse moth trap on 12/13th August: 39 moths of 17 species. Interesting that Shuttle-shaped Dart are back again ... and Pale Mottled Willow!

1 Crassa unitella (642)
2 Endrosis sarcitrella White-shouldered House Moth (648)
4 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth (1261)
1 Catoptria falsella (1316)
1 Pyrausta aurata (1361)
1 Emmelina monodactyla Common Plume (1524)

10 Riband Wave (1713)
2 Lime-speck Pug (1825)
1 Scarce Footman (2047)
3 Jersey Tiger (2067)
2 Shuttle-shaped Dart (2092)
2 Large Yellow Underwing (2107)
1 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (2111)
1 Tree-lichen Beauty (2292)
4 Marbled Beauty (2293)
1 Double-lobed (2336)
2 Pale Mottled Willow (2389)

 

Capel Road moth trap, 14/15th August (using the 6w. actinic trap close to the house):

1 Ypsolopha scabrella  455 (a new species for the area) (pic)
1 Hofmannophila pseudospretella 647
1 Epiphyas postvittana 998
1 Spilonata sp. 1205 (a new species for the area)
1 Cydia splendana 1260
1 Cydia pomonella 1261
1 Acentria ephemerella 1331
1 Anania (Phlyctaenia) coronata 1378
1 Pleuroptya ruralis 1405
1 Endotricha flammealis 1424
1 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1497
1 Emmelina monodactyla 1524

1 Single-dotted Wave 1708
2 Riband Wave 1713
1 Scarce Footman 2047
3 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
2 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2112
1 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
1 Marbled Beauty 2293
1 Copper Underwing 2297
1 Old Lady 2300
1 Ear Moth 2360

 

Lakehouse motrh trap on 14/15 August: 21 species, 32 individuals:

1 Batia unitella 642
1 Endrosis sarcitrella White-shouldered House Moth 648
2 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Acleris holmiana 1037
2 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261
2 Catoptria falsella 1316
2 Parapoynx stratiotata  Ringed China-mark (females) 1348
3 Anania coronata 1378
2 Pleuroptya ruralis  Mother of Pearl 1408
1 Emmelina monodactyla  Common Plume 1524

2 Riband Wave 1713
1 Dark Spinach (flew before I could photograph) 1749
1 Willow Beauty  1937
1 Ruby Tiger  2064
3 Jersey Tiger  2067
1 Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2110
1 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
1 Setaceous Hebrew Character  2126
1 Square-spot Rustic  2134
2 Dot Moth  2155
1 Copper Underwing 2297

 

Capel Road moth trap on 15/16th August

1 Bucculatrix thoracella 273
2 Cameraria ohridella 366a
1 Agriphila tristella 1305
5 Anania (Phlyctaenia) coronata 1378
1 Emmelina monodactyla 1524

1 Riband Wave 1713
1 Double-striped Pug 1862
1 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
2 Lesser Yellow Underwing 2109
3 Marbled Beauty 2293
1 Straw Underwing 2303
2 Common Rustic 2243
1 Flounced Rustic 2353
1 Ear Moth 2360
1 Uncertain 2381

Capel Road moth trap on 16/17 August - 40w trap - - a busy trap with 121 specimens of 32 species:

1 Acleris forskaleana 272
3 Hofmannophila pseudospretella 647
1 Blastobasis adustella 873
3 Pandemis corylana 969
2 Cydia pomonella 1261
2 Agriphila tristella 1305
1 Catoptria pinella 1313
2 Pyrausta aurata 1361
2 Anania (Phlyctaenia) coronata 1378
8 Pleuroptya ruralis 1405
1 Endotricha flammealis 1424
1 Emmelina monodactyla 1524

1 Common Swift 17
2 Maiden's Blush 1680
1 Single-dotted Wave 1708
24 Riband Wave 1713
2 Common Carpet 1738
3 Lime-speck Pug 1825
1 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Light Emerald 1961
1 Jersey Tiger 2067
2 Flame Shoulder 2102
8 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
12 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2111
1 Setaceous Hebrew Character 2126
1 Knot Grass 2289
21 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
5 Marbled Beauty 2293
3 Copper Underwing 2297
3 Straw Underwing 2303
1 Common Rustic 2343
1 Rustic 2382

 

Lakehouse moth trap 16/17th August - 23 species, 39 individuals:

1 Pandemis cerasana Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix  970
1 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261
2 Crambus pascuella  1294
1 Catoptria falsella  1316
2 Pyrausta purpuralis 1362
1 Anania coronata 1378
1 Pleuroptya ruralis Mother of Pearl 1408
2 Endotricha flammealis 1424
2 Aphomia sociella Bee Moth  1428
1 Dioryctria abietella 1454

1 Least Carpet  1699
3 Riband Wave  1713
2 Willow Beauty  1937
1 Ruby Tiger  2064
1 Jersey Tiger  2067
2 Large Yellow Underwing  2107
2 Antler Moth  2176
1 Grey Dagger 2284
5 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
4 Marbled Beauty 2293
1 Knot Grass  2289
1 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

 

A walk organised by the Wren Group took place on Sunday 19th, looking at a variety of wildlife themes including birds, plants and insects.

Amongst the latter, butterflies were not very plentiful, with perhaps Gatekeeper and Speckled Wood being the most commonly seen. There were also some Meadow Browns, Small Heath, a few Whites, a Small Copper and a Holly Blue. One larval case of a Six-spot Burnet moth was found, plus the larval case of a BagwormPsyche casta. The cases of the latter can often be found attached to vegetation, but also to smooth walls and woodwork. They consist of blades of dry grass which the caterpillar constructs so that it can hide whilst feeding, but is also used to protect the pupa whilst hatching. In addition to these two moth species, hundreds of the tiny Horse-chestnut Leaf Miner moths Cameraria ohridella - which cause the damage to Horse-chestnut trees - were observed on a tree trunk.

The dragonflies and damselflies over and around Heronry Pond elicited a lot of interest, as Emperor dragonflies were patrolling and egg-laying as well as slightly smaller species which may have been either Southern or Migrant Hawkers. More positive, Brown Hawkers were much in evidence, as well as some Common Darters, and there was a Black-tailed Skimmer by the Shoulder of Mutton Pond. One Banded Demoiselle flew past by the Heronry Pond, which seemed a bit late in the season for this species, and other damselfly species included numbers of both Red-eyed and Small Red-eyed damselflies, and Common Blue and Azure.

We also found a couple of species of spider, one of which was Enoplognatha ovata, and observed some hoverflies including the larger species Myathropa florea and Volucella inanis. A nice example of Roesel's Bush-cricket was observed by some of the group.

Following from the Wren Group walk I joined a day-course from the Field Study Centre (FSC). The participants were busy “sweeping” the Plain with nets for invertebrates. Amongst their haul were Speckled and Oak Bush-crickets, Meadow and Field Grasshoppers, a Stripe-winged Grasshopper, a Bishop's Mitre bug and the spider Xysticus cristatus..

 

for invertebrates in June, click here

for invertebrates in July, click here
 

Bigfoot Beech loses its head

Beech Tree, Wanstead ParkThe beech tree: minus its head and its limbs!One of Wanstead Park's most distinctive and fine trees has lost its head to the axe.

The large Beech tree, which lies near the golf course fence on the main trackway between the Shoulder of Mutton and Heronry Ponds, was distinctive for its partly-exposed root system, which gave it the appearance of some creature with multiple feet.

Now, in common with numereous other trees in the Park and on Wanstead Flats, it has had most of its limbs and its top lopped off - presumably in the interests of public safety. fungus Ganoderma adspersum wp 120819 30871artBeech Bracket Fungus on the treeThe cut limbs, lying in a heap to the side of the tree, show some with considerable fungal damage, and from the track-side the main trunk looked quite sound. However on the side nearest the golf course a lot of wood-rot damage could be seen, and some quite spectacular growths of the beech bracket fungus.

Such a shame that such a magnificent tree had to be treated in this way, rather than coming to its own slow end.

Paul Ferris, July 2012

 

Marsh Frog at Hollow Ponds

On July 4th 2012, I visited the Hollow Ponds on Leyton Flats with fellow-naturalist Kathy Hartnett. As we approached the smaller of the two ponds, we heard a load, raspy, croaking sound coming from the pond, which soon stopped.

Our first impression was that it had been a frog, although not the European Common FrogRana temporaria, our common frog. This sounded like a Marsh Frog - one of a number of difficult-to-identify introduced frog species that have become naturalised in Britain. Marsh Frogs were originally introduced near Romney Marsh from Hungary in the 1930s and have become well established in Kent and the south-east of England since then. The nearest that I know of to the Wanstead area are at Rainham Marsh, and I have heard of no reports from this area.

Marsh Frog lf 120704 20551artA Marsh Frog at Hollow Ponds, LeytonstoneKathy was positive that the sound was of a frog - she'd heard them relatively recently elsewhere. I was less than convinced, as I know how easy it is to mis-identify something based on just a brief sighting - or sounding in this instance. We walked around the pond, and heard the sound intermittently but always from the same general area.

Persistence paid off. In scanning the area from which the croaking sound was coming with binoculars, I could see the algae pulsating with the sound. Moments later Kathy homed in on it and could see the light-green frog - almost the same colour as the algae. We could even see its cheeks bulging as it inflated them up ready to emit that loud sound.

We only heard and saw one. It would be interesting to know how it got there, if there are others, or if others will join it. If they do, the area will soon be resounding to evening sounds from a more-southern Europe!

Paul Ferris, 5th July 2012

Council tidy-up destroys local wild-flowers

Following my visits to the Green Man roundabout flower-show (see here), I'd walked along Whipps Cross Road towards the Hollow Ponds, and enjoyed a similar experience just by walking along the new shared-use track which lies parallel to the road. Cyclists passed and a few walkers - noticing my interest and camera - even stopped and said how wonderful and colourful it looked.

Whipps Cross Road 120704 20459artColour by Whipps Cross RoadThe new track is separated from Whipps Cross Road (extremely busy Whipps Cross Road, with buses, lorries,cars and ambulances in abundance) by a metre-wide strip of soil - just as colourful in flower as the strip and embankment the other side of the track which separates it from Leyton Flats. Along both sides were the yellow of crucifers, whites of daisies, purple of vetch, red of poppies... With all that - and growing up to about a metre high - the roadside verge served as a nice barrier between the wheels and fumes of vehicles and the pleasures of pedestrians and cyclists.

gmr 120704 20427artLocal naturalist Kathy Hartnett showing a family from Rhode Island some of the wildflowersThen, a couple of days after my visit, the following message was circulated to members of the Epping Forest Outdoor Group:

"With the insertion of a cycle path alongside the road between Green Man and Whipps Cross Lea Bridge roundabouts a narrow strip of rough soil was exposed and brilliant colourful wild flowers flourished. It was a real delight.

But… while still in bright flower the whole lot is being tidied, mown, municipalised, controlled and made dull. There was no threat from predatory people being able to hide in bushes... the flowers were not tall or thick enough for anyone to lurk without being seen by passing traffic.

Do the people that sanctioned this have souls? Now the council will have a mowing cost - these same council who claim to be short of money. Only a few poppies and daisies remain around trees now, and they will be soon strimmed away. Then tidy bored children can sit and look at the tidy boring grass and plan their next riot... as life is deadly dull and colourless.

Whipps Cross Road 120704 20467artJust before the final road-side verge was cut...Somebody will have targeted the contract, but these things can be re-negotiated and bad practices can change; the flowers could have been cut at appropriate times in a planned way for nature conservation management.

Why not go in the reverse direction and mow less grass at Lea Bridge Road central reservation and roundabout? Let's see a delight of managed wild flowers."

When I read that I was horrified - the pleasure that I'd had in the flowers, those that I'd told about it and taken to see - all gone!

Whipps Cross Road 120704 20479artAbove the mower the banners read: "your borough...we want your views"I went to Whipps Cross Road on 4th July. Underneath banners suggesting that it was "your borough" and that "we want your views" the mowers were out completing the job of destroying that lovely verge on behalf of Waltham Forest Council. I spoke to one of the contractors, and got a feeling even from him that what was happening was wrong: "It's for the Olympics, though". Of course it is - everything must look tidy for the thousands of visitors we're going to have to entertain. They won't want to see colour and beauty - at least not by roadsides. They'll want it tidy. Won't they? At a Cabinet Meeting of the L.B.W.F. on 20th July 2010 one provision was "Increased visitor economy by the provision of an attractive walking and cycling route to the Olympic Park."

An alternative view of why the council decided to mow the verges was put forward by another person, though. Apparently some cyclists have been complaining about the vegetation encroaching onto their track. It was: I walked along the very edge before it was mowed down - but it wasn't leg-hindering thick-stuff, brambles or the like - it was just soft vegetation. Perhaps it gets tangled in the bicycle wheels? If that's the case - of course it has to go. Don't go cycling in the country.

Waltham Forest's Biodiversity Action Plan states: "Our vision for Waltham Forest is of a diverse natural landscape with the countryside and open spaces integrated into the urban environment... It is a place where the richness of the biodiversity in the Borough is protected, conserved and enhanced..."

In fact, the damage wasn't quite as bad as I'd feared. It was only the metre-or-so verge either side of the shared-use path that had gone - the embankment remains, so there is still colour and a place where butterflies and bees can feed. But with the wheels of the vehicles that much more obvious, the place didn't feel the same as it had a few days earlier. It certainly didn't look the same.

You might like to comment on the "improvements " along Whipps Cross Road; this may be an approprate email address:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Paul Ferris, 5th July 2012

Invertebrates in July

Capel Moth trap 1/2 July

1 Dipleurina lacustrata (1338)
1 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (1497)

1 Common Emerald (1669)
Scalloped Oak (1920)
1 Willow Beauty (1937)
3 Heart and Dart (2089)
1 Dun-bar (2318)

1 Orange Ladybird Halyzia 16-guttata

Capel Road moth trap on 3/4 July included:

1 Batia lunaris  - New Tawny Tubic (640) (pic)
1 Hofmannophila pseudospretella - Brown House Moth (647)
1 Oecogonia sp. (871)

 

A visit to the Leyton Flats area on 4th July produced the following invertebrates:

Silver Y Moth
Black-tailed Skimmer
Broad-bodied Chaser
Banded Demoiselle
various Blue Damselflies
Brown Hawker ?
Southern Hawker or Emperor?
Essex or Small Skippers
Large White and other "white" butterflies
possible Comma butterfly
 
 
Capel moth trap overnight on 4/5th July:
 
1 Cochylis atricapitana (966) (if correct this would be a new species for the area)
2 Pyrausta aurata (1361)
Aphomia sociella Bee Moth (1428)
1 possibly Ephista unicolorella ssp. woodiella (1474) (if correct this would be a new species for the area)
 
1 Least Carpet (1699)
1 Dwarf Cream Wave (1705)
1 Lime-speck Pug (1825)
1 Scalloped Oak (1920)

1 Willow Beauty (1937)
1 Common Footman (2050)
1 Heart and Club (2088)
3 Heart and Dart (2089)
1 Clay (2193)
1 Bird's Wing (2301)
1 Pale Mottled Willow (2389)
1 Snout (2477)
 

Lakehouse catch for 4/5 July: 39 moths of 17 species.

Underlined species names = new for the trap for this year.

5 Hofmannophila pseudospretella - Brown House Moth (647)
1 Endrosis sarcitrella - White-shouldered House Moth (648)
7 Epiphyas postvittana - Light Brown Apple Moth (998)
1 Lozotaeniodes formosana (1001)
1 Chrysoteuchia culmella (1293)
2 Crambus pascuella (1294)
Aphomia sociella - Bee Moth (1428)

1 Dwarf Cream Wave (1705)
2 Garden Carpet (1728)
2 Foxglove Pug (1817)
1 Brimstone Moth (1906)
2 Willow Beauty (1937)
1 Mottled Beauty (1941)
2 Common Footman (2050)
5 Heart and Dart (2089)
1 Dingy Shears (2314)
1 Dark Arches (2321)
2 Pale Mottled Willow (2389)


Lakehouse catch for 8/9 July: 13 moths of 9 species

1 Least Carpet (1699)
1 Small Fan-footed Wave (1702)
2 Garden Carpet (1728)
1 Scalloped Oak (1921)
2 Willow Beauty (1937)
1 Common Footman (2050)
1 Short Cloaked Moth (2077)
2 Heart and Dart (2089)
2 Large Yellow Underwing (2107)

Poor weather deterred from the moth traps being put out at either Lakehouse or Capel Road for many nights. However, out and about, grasshoppers were beginning to really make their presence felt, with seemingly hundreds jumping around in the grass by the edge of the City of London Cemetery fence and wall. As well, there were numbers of Small Heath, Meadow Brown and Skipper butterflies, making at least the 12th July feel summery in a very un-summery seeming summer. Other butterflies seen on that day were a few Red Admirals and some Large Whites. Two moths were encountered: just two caterpillars of the Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae)on Ragwort by the City of London Cemetery and a Burnet Companion moth (Euclidia glyphica)in the luxurient meadows of Webster's Land in Little Ilford.

The moth trap was put out at Lakehouse on 15/16th, and the catch was as follows:

1 Hofmannophila pseudospretella - Brown House Moth (647)
1 Epiphyas postvittana - Light Brown Apple Moth (female) (998)
1 Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth (1261)
2 Crambus pascuella (1294)
1 Eudonia  (Dipleurina) lacustrata (1338)
1 Aphomia sociella - Bee Moth (male) (1428)
1 Emmelina monodactyla - Common Plume (1524)

1 Garden Carpet (1728)
1 Foxglove Pug (1817)
1 Scalloped Oak (1921)
1 Common Footman (2050)
1 Large Yellow Underwing (2107)
1 Dark Arches (2321)

On 17th, the first Summer Chafers (Amphimallon solstitialis) (pic) - sometimes known as Solstice Bugs, though they are beetles and this year it is way beyond the Solstice - were seen flying around the Oak tree-tops in Capel Road. This is an annual event in the evenings, when the beetles emerge, fly around the oak-tops looking for a mate and disconcertingly fly at you if you try to walk across the Flats. Thye are quite big and noisy. The EOL Encyclopedia of Life website states that the "Plant / resting place / swarming adult of Amphimallon solstitialis may be found on live canopy of Ulmus" (Elm). It also mentions Poplar and Lime - but here it is Oak.

On 17/18th at Capel Road:

1 Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth (1261)
1 Chrysoteuchia culmella (1293)
1 Eudonia mercurella (1344) (pic)
1 Eurrhypara hortulata - Small Magpie  (1376)
1 possibly Ephestia  sp. (1473)
1 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (1497) ?

2 Dwarf Cream Wave (1705)
1 Single-dotted Wave (1708)
2 Willow Beauty (1937)
1 Marbled Beauty (2293)
1 Bird's Wing (2301)
1 Cloaked Minor (2341)
4 Common Rustic (2343)
1 Uncertain (2381)
 
and at Lakehouse:

1 Hofmannophila pseudospretella - Brown House Moth (647)
5 Chrysoteuchia culmella (1293)
6 Eudonia mercurella (1344)
1 Pyrausta aurata (1361)

2 Riband Wave (1713)
1 Common Carpet (1738)
1 Lime-speck Pug  (1825)
1 worn and unidentified pug
1 Scalloped Oak (1921)
1 Common Footman (2050)
3 Heart and Dart (2089)
1 Large Yellow Underwing (2107)
1 Dun-bar (2318)
1 Dark Arches (2321)
1 Common Rustic agg. (2343)
1 Uncertain (2381)
1 Pale Mottled Willow (2389)

 
There was wind and light showers on Wanstead Flats around mid-day on 18th, but still Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Essex and Small Skippers and the first noted  Large Skipper were occasionally flying (pic). On just a few Common Ragwort plants, the black and yellow larvae of Cinnabar Moths (pic) were seen, but I would have expected a lot more to be evident by now.
 
Capel Road moth trap on 19/20th July:
 
1 Eudonia mercurella (1344)
1 Pleuroptya ruralis  Mother of Pearl (1405)

1 Early Thorn (1917)
1 Large Yellow Underwing (2107)
1 Marbled Beauty (2293)
 
 
Capel Road moth trap 21/22 July:
 
1 possibly Chrysoteuchia culmella (1293)
1 Eudonia mercurella (1344)
1 possibly Ephestia parasitella (1474)

1 Least Carpet (1699)
1 Dwarf Cream Wave (1705)
1 Single-dotted Wave (1708)
1 Riband Wave (1713)
1 Yellow Shell (1742)
1 Lime-speck Pug (1825)
1 Common Rustic (2343)
1 Nut-tree Tussock (2425)
 
Lakehouse moth trap 21/22 July:

1 Notocelia uddmanniana  - Bramble-shoot Moth (1174)
2 Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth (1261)
2 Crambus pascuella  (1294)
1 Eudonia mercurella  (1344)

1 Least Carpet
1 Dwarf Cream Wave
1 Common Carpet
1 Scalloped Oak
1 Peppered Moth Biston beltularia (1931)
2 Dingy Footman Eilema griseola (2154)
1 Common Footman
1 Heart and Dart
1 Large Yellow Underwing
3 Dark Arches
1 Pale Mottled Willow

Butterflies listed on 21st and 22nd :

Essex Skipper: seemed to be the more common of the two species that were out in very large numbers (100s) on Spear Thistle, Ragwort, Yarrow etc near Centre Road, east of Alexandra Lake, on the Plain and in the Old Sewage Works.
Small Skipper: plentiful, though not - I think - as plentiful as the above.
Small Heath: a few only on Flats (21/7) and on the Plain (22/7).
Small Copper: 10 counted on eastern Plain on 21/7 and others on western Plain on 22/7.
Meadow Brown: large numbers on all the grassland areas visitited (near Centre Road, near Alexandra Lake, on the Plain and in the Old Sewage Works).
Gatekeeper: aboubt 10 seen on the Plain and in the Old Sewage Works, 22/7; all seemed very fresh.
Specked Wood: just 1 seen on 21/7, near the entrance to the CoL Cemetery fence.
Red Admiral: 2 seen (1 by Jubilee Pond; 1 in OLW), 21/7; about 12 seen on 22/7.
Large White: 1 in City of London Cemetery, 21/7.
small white sp.: several individuals seen on 21/7 and 22/7 but not approachable.

Odonata (Damselflies and Dragonflies) listed on 21st and 22nd :

Banded Demoiselle: 1 on Shoulder of Mutton; at least 10 by Roding.
Common Blue Damselfly/Azure: many of these species; both present but most not assigned to species.
Blue-tailed Damselfly: a few around east end of Perch, 21/7 and 22/7.
Red-eyed Damsefly: seen on Jubilee (21/7), Perch, Heronry and Ornamentals (22/7).
Black-tailed Skimmer: 2 on Jubilee (21/7), with others around Heronry and Ornamentals (22/7).
Brown Hawker: at least 10 seen on 22/7, with individuals around Shoulder, Heronry, Perch, Ornamentals and over Old Sewage Works.
Southern Hawker: at least 6 seen on 22/7, with individuals around Heronry and Ornamentals.
Common Darter: 1 at south end of Jubilee, 21/7.

 Capel Road moth trap 23/24 July:

2 Hofmannophila pseudospretella - Brown House Moth 647
1 Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth 1261
1 Catoptria falsella 1316
1 Dipleurina  (Eudonia) lacustra 1338
1 Eudonia mercurella 1344
1 Eurrhypara hortulata - Small Magpie 1376
2 Pleuroptyla ruralis - Mother of Pearl 1405
2 Orthopygia glaucinalis  1415
1 Emellina monodactyla 1454

2 Oak Hook-tip 1646
5 Least Carpet 1699
2 Single-dotted Wave 1708
3 Riband Wave 1713
1 Lime-speck Pug 1825
1 Common Footman 2050
1 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
2 Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2110
1 Common Rustic agg. (2343)
1 Uncertain 2381

Lakehouse moth trap 23/24 July:

Hofmannophila pseudospretella - Brown House Moth 647
1 Tachystola acroxantha 656 (probable?)
3 Epiphyas postvittana - Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Tortrix viridana - Green Oak Tortrix 1033
1 Pammene aurita 1233
Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth 1261
5 Chrysoteuchia culmella 1293
5 Eudonia mercurella 1344
2 Endotricha flammealis 1424
Aphomia sociella  Bee Moth 1428
 
2 Oak Hook-tip 1646
1 Least Carpet 1699
1 Riband Wave 1713
1 Garden Carpet 1728
2 Swallow-tailed Moth 1922
1 Dingy Footman 2044
2 Common Footman 2050
1 Buff Ermine 2061
2 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
1 Dun-bar 2318
1 Dark Arches 2321
2 Uncertain 2381
1 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

 
Flying across the Angle Pond on Wanstead Flats on 25th were a couple of Southern Hawker dragonflies; this species is present by some of the lakes in Wanstead Park at the moment as well. In the grass by the pond was the grass moth Chrysoteuchia culmella.
 

Capel Road moth trap on 25/26 July:

1 Lyonetia clerkella - Apple Leaf Miner  263
1 Crassa unitella 642
3 Hofmannophila pseudospretella - Brown House Moth 647
1 Chrysoclista lathamella 902
1 Epiblema foenella 1183
1 Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth 1261
1 Chrysoteucha culmella 1293
1 Eudonia mercurella 1344
1 Phlyctaenia coronata - "Blue-spot Magpie"  1378
3 Endotricha flammealis 1424

5 Least Carpet 1699
1 Dwarf Cream Wave 1705
2 Riband Wave 1713
1 Common Marbled Carpet 1764
1 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
1 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
1 Marbled Beauty 2293
1 Dun Bar 2318
1 Tawny Marbled Minor 2339
1 Nut-tree Tussock 2425


and a bumper-night at the Lakehouse trap on 25/26 July:

1 Roeslerstammia erxlebella  447
Hofmannophila pseudospretella - Brown House Moth 647
Endrosis sarcitrella - White-shouldered House Moth 648
Epiphyas postvittana - Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 possible Zeiraphera isertana 1165
Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth 1261
 
3+ Chrysoteuchia culmella - Garden Grass Veneer 1293
1 Crambus pascuella 1294
5 Eudonia mercurella 1344
1 Hypsopygia costalis - Gold Triangle 1413
1 Phycita roborella 1452 (a new species for the area)
1Emmelina monodactyla - Common Plume 1524
 
1 Oak Hook-tip 1646
5 Least Carpet 1699
2 Treble Brown Spot 1711
6 Riband Wave 1713
2 Garden Carpet 1728
2 Lime Speck Pug 1825
2 Common Pug 1834
1 Peppered Moth 1931
1 Willow Beauty 1937
3 Dingy Footman 2044
3 Common Footman 2050
2 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
1 Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2110
1 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2111
1 Knot Grass 2289
1 Marbled Beauty 2293
2 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
2 Old Lady 2300
1 Dark Arches 2321
1 Light Arches 2322
1 Double-lobed 2336 (a new species for the area)
2 Uncertain 2381

 
Lakehouse trap on 27/28 July. What was most striking was the big reduction in the number of micros cf. the night of 25/26...

1 Yponomeuta evonymella Bird-cherry Ermine 424
2 Epiphyas postvittana - Light Brown Apple Moth 0998
3 Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth 1261
1 Endotricha flammealis  1424

1 Oak Hook-tip 1646
5 Least Carpet 1696
2 Single-dotted Wave 1708
4 Riband Wave 1713
4 Garden Carpet 1728
1 pug sp.
1 Peppered Moth 1931
2 Common Footman 2050
2 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
1 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2111
1 Cabbage Moth 2154
1 Clay 2193
1 Knot Grass 2289
1 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
1 Marbled Beauty 2293
1 Dun-bar 2318
1 Dark Arches 2321
1 LIght Arches 2322
1 Double-lobed 2336
1 Uncertain 2381
1 Nut-tree Tussock 2425
 
 
Capel Road trap on 28/29 July; this was a slightly cooler night than of late, and the moon was bright - perhaps reasons for a less productive catch than of late.
 
1 Tinea trinotella 247
Hofmannophila pseudospretella  Brown House Moth 647
1 Crambus perlella 1302 (a new species for the area) (pic)
1 Pleuroptyla ruralis  Mother of Pearl 1405
1 Endotricha flammealis 1424
 
2 Dwarf Cream Wave 1705
3 Riband Wave 1713
1 Common Footman 2050
1 Marbled Beauty 2293
1 Mottled Rustic 2387
1 Silver Y 2441

 
The Capel Road trap on 29/31 July didn't produce many specimens, but there were two new species records for the area amongst them:
 
Coleophora  sp. 568 (a new species for the area)
1 Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth 1261
1 Lyonetia clerkella 1263
1 Crambus perlella 1302 (a new species for the area)
1 Endotricha flammealis 1424
 
2 Riband Wave 1713
2 Common Carpet 1738
1 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2111
1 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
 
 
The catch at Lakehouse on 31st July/1st August:
The combination of it being a cool night and the full moon possibly meant that the catch last night was relatively small (26 moths of 14 species), as follows:
 
3 Endrosis sarcitrella - White-shouldered House Moth 648
2 Epiphyas postvittana - Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Cydia pomonella - Codling Moth 1261
1 Eudonia mercurella 1344
3 Endotricha flammealis 1424
1 Aphomia sociella  Bee Moth 1428
 
1 Least Carpet 1699
5 Riband Wave 1713
1 Common Carpet 1738
3 Common Footman 2050
1 Buff Ermine 2061 (new species for the area)
1 Ruby Tiger 2064
2 Dot Moth 2155
1 Tree-lichen Beauty 2292
 
For June click here
For August click here