The first location we visited was the Butterfly Garden. This is packed full of flowers that attract butterflies and other insects.
Our first find was the hoverfly Helophilus pendulus. Hoverflies are important for pollinating flowers, trees and fruit.
|The hoverfly Helophilus pendulus|
Next we found a 2-spot Ladybird. These are much smaller than the more common 7-spot Ladybird, which we also saw.
At first, I thought this was a little Sepsid Fly, but some research reveals that it's the much rarer Rivellia syngenesiae, which I haven't seen before (and there are no previous records in the National database!)
We then moved to the area of woodland at the edge of the School grounds, where we found a number of leaf-mining species. Leaf-miners live inside leaves, eating the middle layers of the leaf where they are protected from predators such as birds and other insects.
|The mine of Phytomyza ranunculi on Creeping Buttercup|
We also found the mine of Caloptilia syringella, which mines Lilac, Privet and Ash:
|Mine of Caloptilia syringella on Lilac|
Most miners make their own mine, but some species make communal mines. This photograph shows two larvae of the leaf-mining fly Pegomya solennis on Dock:
|Larvae of Pegomya solennis on Dock (heads to the left)|
Some other species of flies also use leaves, but in a different way: Leaf galls are growths created by flies (and sometimes other insects) to make a shelter to live inside and feed on.
This is a Pontania gall on a Willow leaf:
|Pontania leaf gall on a Willow leaf|
And these galls are made by another species - Eriophyes sorbi - which is also new to me:
|Eriophyes sorbi galls on Rowan|
In the same location, we found this tiny fly:
|Tiny Fly with iridescent wings|
And also this Dung Fly, which was waiting to pounce on any passing insect:
|Dung fly poised to leap out on any unsuspecting prey|
Towards the end of the walk we found some Foxgloves:
|Foxglove, a highly poisonous plant|
And a single Herb Robert flower framed by the fencing: