Dibbinsdale 30th August 2015

I had a morning wander around Dibbinsdale – my new local patch. Birdlife included Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, some vociferous Jays, Buzzard, Bullfinch, a party of Long-tailed Tits and Song Thrush.

MNA Dibbinsdale Artichoke Gall1

Oak Artichoke Gall

The Oaks were infected with a variety of Galls caused by Gall Wasps including Oak Marble Gall Andricus kollari, Oak Knopper Gall Andricus quercuscalicis, Oak Artichoke Gall Andricus fecundator and Oak Common Spangle Gall Neuroterus quercusbaccarum.

MNA Dibbinsdale Dryads Saddle Fungi1

Dryads Saddle

MNA Dibbinsdale Scaly Earthball1

Scaly Earthball

Always a good spot for Fungi in the Autumn I managed to find a few species already Tar Spot Fungus Rhytisma acerinum, King Alfred’s Cakes Daldinia concentrica, Upright Coral Ramaria stricta. Dead Man’s Finger’s Xylaria polymorpha, Dryad’s Saddle Polyporus squamosus, Smoky Bracket Bjerkandera adusta, Lumpy Bracket Trametes gibbosa, Amethyst Deceiver Laccaria amethystea, Honey Fungus Armillaria mellea bootlace mycelium, Boletus sp. that had been mauled by slugs, Ochre Brittlegill Russula ochroleuca, Sulphur Tuft Hypholoma fasciculare, Scaly Earthball Scleroderma verrucosum, Velvet Shield Pluteus umbrosus and a Common Stinkhorn Phallus impudicus just about to erupt from its egg.

MNA Dibbinsdale Erupting Stinkhorn1

Erupting Stinkhorn

MNA Dibbinsdale Eristalis Mint1

Tapered Dronefly Eristalis pertinax on Water Mint

Plants still in flower included Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria, Water Forget-me-not Myosotis scorpioides, Himalayan Balsalm Impatiens glandulifera, Water Mint Mentha aquatica and Teasel Dipsacus fullonum.

MNA Dibbinsdale Flower Beetle1

Thick-legged Flower Beetle

MNA Dibbinsdale Hornet Mimic Hoverfly1

Hornet Mimic Hoverfly

Hoverflies of note included a female Leucozona glaucia and a splendid Hornet Mimic Hoverfly Volucella zonaria – the largest British Hoverfly that became established here in the 1940s and has been gradually expanding its range northwards. A female Thick-legged Flower Beetle Oedemera nobilis and a Gatekeeper were seen feeding on Common Ragwort Senecio jacobaea. A Grey Dagger Acronicta psi Moth was seen resting on a Sycamore Tree trunk.

MNA Dibbinsdale Moth1

Grey Dagger Moth

If you are interested in the wildlife of the north-west of England and would like to join the walks and coach trips run by the Merseyside Naturalists’ Association, see the main MNA website for details of our programme and how to join us.

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