Friday, 17 October 2014

Invasion of the Harlequin Ladybird and.......

.....birds,bugs and caterpillar.



The sun was shining for the first time in over a week, my wrist and elbow are on the mend and I needed to get out and take some photos. Have enough strength in hand to press buttons on camera but still not able to bend arm enough  to take a photo using view on camera, but were there's a will there's a way.



Next to the park there used to be a nursing home, few years back they took it down and grasses it over, the plot is covered in Clover at the moment. At the front were the entrance would have been is five Maple trees all a different. The yellow leaves of one tree looked stunning in the sunlight.


This is were I first notice the Harlequins on the tree trunk. At first I counted over ten, then I noticed they were in the grass all around the tree, they were landing in my hair and on my cloths, across the land you could see them flying everywhere.



At first I thought there might have been a large colony  in the tree and due to the warm weather they were all hatching a once.

This one has a damaged shell, this could have happened when it first emerged, as they are soft. They need time to dry out.


There are over 100 colour pattern varieties of the Harlequin Ladybird

Round the corner from the Old Nursing Home is the path that leads you onto both parks I visit, during the summer this was a hot spot for insects especially Harlequins and Ladybirds, here too was covered in Harlequins. All in different  stages of development, Larvae to Pupae.

 Harlequin Larvae (14/9/14)

Walking through the park they were every were. The sun was on the wall that surround Kirk Park so thought this was another good place to look... Yep you guest it this too was covered, there were more in Pupae stage here.
This stage lasts between 7-10 days, still allot to hatch. Due to the rain we have had over the last week I did wonder if they are able to delay hatching till the conditions are right, having said that when they are in the Pupae stage they are at their most vulnerable.





Then here on the wall I was very lucky to spot a newly "hatched" bug, I never new they were yellow till I saw a photo of Ladybird on Mandy's Blog.



If look closely you can see this one could be a black one with two red spots. More information can be found here at Harlequin Ladybird Survey

While out I was lucky to spot a few things

Jays
I think this is a Birch Shieldbug  (Elasmostethus interstinctus)
Lichen on a Larch tree

I have been after getting a photo of this Goldcrest at the park for month, this is the best photo so far.


This was also the best photo of a Buff Ermine Moth caterpillar I managed to get, they cant't half move.


Squirrel with a red face
Comma Butterfly
Happy Hunting

Amanda XXX

14 comments:

  1. Lovely Autumn leaves Amanda, nice shot of the Jay and the Comma.
    Yes those Goldcrest can be infuriating, they never stay still.

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  2. Thanks Roy, getting to see more birds now the leaves are dropping, and winter birds are returning.
    Amanda xx

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  3. Lovely photos, especially those of the tree/leaves. What a lot of harlequins. Did you report them at the survey site? I always log my sightings for them!

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    1. Thanks Louise, I have not so far, but I will do. There are so many this year, I need to see how it works with so many.
      Amanda

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  4. How amazing to see all those harlequins! What's even better is that you've identified some insects I saw this week as I've been wondering what they are - the harlequin larvae :) Glad to hear you're recovering well. x

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  5. Thanks Julie, some days I see nothing but to day I had lots of nice finds, especially the Harlequin still yellow.
    Amanda.

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  6. Glad to hear your wrist and elbow are on the mend Amanda. Lovely autumn colours and photos. Great Harlequin photos - already have 8 hibernating in our bathroom and yesterday there were dozens on the bathroom window and flying round the patio :( Do worry though about effect on native species - we have had very few in our garden this year :(

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  7. Thanks RR, it's great to see, but you are right. With this many Harlequins our native species don't stand a chance. Have just read they have been getting a fungus , similar to the fungus that threatened the two spot ladybird. It is transmitted during mating and over wintering when they are all huddled together.
    Amanda

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  8. I hope that you keep mending well, your photos are great!! xx

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  9. Thanks Amy, good evening sun helped ..
    Amanda

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  10. You managed to take some amazing photos Amanda! I love ladybirds and have seen so many today, mainly because I was pruning and they were finding little places to rest over winter. Take care of yourself xx

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    1. Thanks Chel, we're they Harelquins or Ladybirds. Hope I come across large groups of them over wintering as it will be great to see.
      Amanda xx

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  11. Glad you're on the mend. You've managed to take some fabulous photos despite the difficulties. Not seen many ladybirds our way, this year. xx

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  12. Thanks Jacqui , will be glad when I can move my arm a little better, my elbo hurts more where they operated , making my arm very stiff to use, and no matter were I put my arm it seem to be always on the stitches. It's only been two weeks so give it another week and I should be much better.
    Amanda

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