Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Sunday, 22 January 2023

Life in the land of the dead

Been far too busy/lazy of late to post, mainly because I've been far too busy/lazy to have anything to post about. This weekend for instance, the first weekend for a while where the conditions have been crisp and cold rather than miserably wet, I could have sauntered literally a couple of miles down the road to look for an over-wintering Yellow-browed Warbler (not Hume's) with a Hen Harrier loitering around the same area. Could not be arsed. Absolutely no motivation to get some boots on. It can't go on like this of course, and I'm sure a glimmer of lengthening days and increased opportunities will coax me out of this winter malaise.

I did have a minor effort today though, just by sticking the camera in the car to take on a short errand to stock up on fat balls. I dropped past the old churchyard in Blaby and had a nose around on the stone walls and gravestones for half an hour which turned out to be surprisingly productive.

For some reason I'd never seen Juniper Shieldbug, but here there were six brazenly sitting out on top of gravestones despite the temps barely being a couple of degrees above freezing. Pretty sure no Juniper anywhere around, but certainly some Lawson's Cypress or cultivars.

A search of the stone walls around the church and algae/lichen covered brick walls on the adjacent lane soon revealed a number of Psychidae cases. Narycia duplicella and Luffia lapidella (f. ferchaultella) were certain, but a few cases looked a bit more Dahlica-like. I'll go back and have a longer better look another time. But even better, a patch of granular grey-green lichen [Lepraria sp.] held the inconspicuous larval tubes of Infurcitinea argentimaculella. Good to find this well away from all other VC55 records to date (Charnwood). The photos are not exactly exciting, and these were on the shaded side of the wall in what were already dull conditions so a bit 'fuzzy'! Still you get the gist.

Here's an absolute racket that I recommend you play at ear-bleeding volume; its enough to wake the dead.

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