Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Bug Mad Yoesden

Crickets and grasshoppers are a bit of a Bug Mad Girl favourite and she can't resist trying to find them when we're out. She's never happier than when she's creeping through the long grass, listening out for their whirrs and chirps, trying to spot one before it boings off into the distance.

The ultimate prize for her is to find a great green bush cricket. A prehistoric looking monster up to 7cm long, it's our largest native bush-cricket. It has a very loud song, sounding like a sewing machine, but is still quite hard to find. On a visit to Yoesden last summer one crawled up somebodies leg and sat on their shoulder, making a very memorable encounter which has only fuelled her desire to find another one.
A great green bush-cricket from last summer.
We visited Yoesden today and tried hard to find one, but had to satisfy ourselves with lots of little grasshoppers. I suspect we may be back to hunt again before the end of the summer.

There were hundreds of common and chalkhill blues flying on the slope. Most of the chalkhill blues were looking a bit tatty, but the common blues look freshly emerged. In fact I've hardly seen any common blues since earlier in the year so it was great to see so many of them today. I didn't see any Adonis blues, but they should soon be around again.
Male chalkhill blue

Female chalkhill blue

Common blue

Common blue

Common blue
There were lots of other butterflies flying including meadow browns, gatekeepers, small skippers and we saw one marbled white (possibly our last of the year) and one small copper (our first of the year). There were also several day flying moths, including 6-spot burnet moths, a silver Y and a dusky sallow.
6-spot burnet moths making new 6-spot burnet moths

Dusky sallow

Silver Y
We also saw a horse fly that had caught a common blue. It flew off when we disturbed it, carrying the common blue with it, which was quite a site.

There's a patch of dark mullein that flowers at the bottom of the slope, so I had a quick look and found more than 20 striped lychnis moth caterpillars feeding on it. We saw them there last year as well, so it's good to see this scarce moth is still doing well.

You can always rely on Yoesden for some beautiful views and a bug mad morning!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Can't believe you've found common blue butterflies! I've been looking everywhere at Strumpshaw for them. Can I borrow some? lol

    1. Haven't seen any around here for ages, so it was good to see so many at Yoesden. Hopefully there'll be lots more everywhere soon.