27th August 2016
For the past few years there has been some Clouded Yellow butterflies reported from Queen's Hills Country Park at the edge of Norwich, along with several other interesting day-flying moths. I had never been, but the sighting of two 'helice' form Clouded Yellows, a form I haven't seen, tempted me to go and have a look. I had been told that they were the main Queen's Hills side (there is a smaller reserve the Ringland side) near to a car park, but I could see a proper car park so I found a place nearby to park and walked back.
The area was covered in plants, so I could see why it would be good for insects. Quite a few of them were going over, but there was still lots of Ragwort, Knapweed etc. I walked around near two ponds, one dry and one full, seeing a flyover Grey Wagtail and hearing a Bullfinch. There was no sign of any Clouded Yellows in the areas I checked, but there were lots of other butterflies including Painted Lady and Common Blue.
Having a look around at the flowers I saw the hoverfly Chrysotoxum bisinctum, which I don't see very often, and also a new capsid bug, Oncotylus viridiflavus. I photographed a Cinnamon Bug (Corizus hyoscyami) and after putting the photo on Twitter Brian Eversham pointed out that the Ragwort plant it was on had been galled by a fly. There are two possible culprits, so I may ask around and see if I can find out which one it is. This conversation also highlighted a guide produced by Buglife to the insects that use Ragwort, which looks handy.
On my way back to the car I noticed a few orange, four-petalled poppies. I managed to identify them as Californian Poppy, a garden plant that has presumably either been thrown out here or grown from seed. Before going home I called in at Whitlingham, but there was a lot of disturbance on the broad from boating, so after a quick look round I headed home.
Californian Poppy - oranger in real life