Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Kentle Wood, October 2019

It was a lovely morning as I set out for Kentle Wood - the finest for several days. Sadly there was a serious shortage of interesting insects - or I wasn't being sharp-eyed enough. Oak trees were bearing the scars of a long summer in the form of leaf mines but what caught my eye was an oak tree with a nice example of a Ramshorn Gall, the work of Andricus aries.

Ramshorn Gall on pedunculate oak. Kentle Wood, Daventry.
22 October, 2019

I have spoken often of this tiny wasp so I will say no more about it. It was not even a new record for the location. However it is the first time my pictures have clearly shown the insect's exit hole.

A jay called harshly from a nearby tree and a Comma butterfly flitted along the sun-dappled ride, settling on a dead oak leaf. I cautiously stooped in order to secure a photograph but it fled as a gust of wind stirred the leaf. However, as I stopped I noticed a patch of interesting fungi on a rotting tree stump.

Candle-snuff Fungus on dead wood. Kentle Wood, Daventry.
22 October, 2019

It was  Xylaria hypoxylon, commonly known as Candle-snuff Fungus. It is common but quite variable. Its presence on dead wood is a typical location.

The lichen, Lecanora chlarotera, also occupied a typical site - on the smooth bark of a young ash tree. It will be seen that the Lecanora is surrounded by dozens of ascocarps, looking like pale brown jam tarts, probably of another Lecanora or a closely related genus.

Lecanora  chlarotera on ash tree bark. Kentle Wood, Daventry.
22 October, 2019

However, although numerous flies occupied sunlit foliage it was generally a day to simply enjoy a pleasant stroll.

A female Polietes meridionalis enjoys the sun on a cherry leaf.
Kentle Wood, Daventry. 22 October, 2019
I added one species to the list for Kentle Wood. Phaonia subventa, with a clear yellow abdomen, is a very common relative of houseflies and that I had failed to record it before is surprising. The species-list for the site now numbers 540.

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