At 05.00 (9th) Jason Nichols collected me from Martham and we set off for two days in the ‘Southern Counties’. Although the weather forecast was not as good as we would have liked it, especially with insects in mind, optimism was the key!
En-route, we saw Common Buzzards and a couple of Red Kites before arriving at our first destination; Oaken Wood, Surrey at approximately 09.00.
With the temperature still quite low, insects were hard to come by and clearly the Southern counties species numbers and biodiversity were not immune to changes on our planet!
One of several Speckled Woods was the first Butterfly species, followed by a Green-veined White and a Large Skipper.
Several moths were disturbed as we walked along the woodland ‘paths’, which included: Nemophora degeerella aka Yellow-barred Longhorn, Tortrix species Choristeneura hebenstreitella, Speckled Yellow Pseudopanthera macularia and a Brown Silver-line Petrophora chlorosata. Thanks to Ken Saul for his help with identification.
A male Broad-bodied Chaser was seen as was a female later in the morning and there was a brief view of a Golden-ringed Dragonfly.
A very stunning-looking red weevil was found; a Hazel Leaf-roller Weevil Apoderus coryli and several Dock Bugs Coreus marginatus and a Bombus hypnorum Tree Bumblebee.
The main reason for our visit here was for Wood White Leptidea sinapis and eventually, thanks to another individual present, we finally found one after being directed to a ride where he had seen one earlier.
Several Small Heaths were seen in the area, along with a male Emperor Dragonfly patrolling over an open area and several juvenile Dark Bush Crickets on the vegetation.
The best was yet to come (personally-speaking) when I found a Bee perched on a leaf, which I photographed before exploring further along the path. At this point I was not sure what species it was, but there was a thought in the back of my mind, that couldn’t quite come to fruition.
However, I found another Bee a short distance away and I had no doubt what this one was and indeed, also now what the other one was; a male Eucera longicornis Long-horned Bee (first one a female)! This was a ‘must see insect’ for me, so this Bee species had already made the trip worthwhile.