Monday, 5 June 2017

In just one little corner of the a walk along Rhyl beach

I was on babysitting duties for my cousins in Rhyl this weekend, and therefore a little restricted as to where I could go with the camera. Luckily I didn't have to go far. I just visited this one corner of my cousins garden, and clocked up an impressive number of critters as the next load of photos will show.
Six species of Ladybird
Five species of Hoverfly
Two harmless wasp species
plus a few ladybird and sawfly larvae
Are you sitting comfortably ?
7-spot ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata)
2-spot ladybird (Adalia bipunctata)

Harlequin ladybirds (Harmonia axyridis)

14-spot ladybird (Propylea quattuordecimpunctata)

10-spot ladybird (Adalia decempunctata)

Pine ladybird (Exochomus quadripustulatus)

and there were several ladybird larva. They look to all be 2-spot ladybird late-instar larva...

Other delightful eye catching critters included this Potter wasp (Odynerus sp)

Potter wasps are medium to large sized wasps measuring between 9 to 20 millimetres in length. They are black with white, yellow, orange, or red markings. The adults feed on flower nectar and collect small caterpillars to feed their young. The caterpillars are paralyzed with the wasp’s sting and piled into the brood cell (which is the compartment in which the wasp larvae develops).
The female wasp then lays an egg on the stored caterpillars. The Potter wasp larvae consumes from 1 to 12 caterpillars as it grows. Potter wasps are important in the natural control of caterpillars.
As to be expected in a sheltered sunny garden there were a good selection of harmless hoverflies....
Episyrphus balteatus
Myathropa florea

Eupeodes luniger

Eristalis pertinax

Other wiggly critters included these sawfly larva....

and this beauty below is a type of Ichneumon wasp, another harmless species. With help from Stu Hasjcore Wolfe on the Insects of Britain and Northern Europe Facebook group, it has been narrowed down to Syrphophilus tricinctorius.....
But the most exciting find for me was a 'hoverfly first'. A stunning bumblebee mimic  called Merodon equestris....



So I was very happy with what I found in just one corner of my cousins garden.
My 'charges' for the day and night were my cousins youngest kids, Jack and Brandon..... 

 and Buster....

 We went on the beach on Saturday and walked back along the prom where this beautiful male Stonechat let us get quite close...

Looking over the sea wall to the beach we then watched House Martins gathering damp sand to build their nests...

So even though I didn't go out and about alone like I would normally do, it was great to find so much wildlife right under my nose.
Maybe next time I'll do a mini bioblitz of the whole garden instead of just one corner......

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