The Whitlingham Bird Report 2021 is available to download now 

For previous years (2012-2020) see the links on the Whitlingham Bird Report page

NORWICH: Some early October highlights

Early October 2022

More interesting things seen on my daily commute, including two new aphids, Aphis oenotherae on Evening Primrose and Aphis solanella on Black Nightshade. At Sainsburys on Queens Road there were several moths around one of the security lights, unfortunately nothing new but Large Ranunculus is always nice to see. Walking down towards Lakenham Way I found a Nigma walckenaeri spider hiding under a silk tent. There were also some interesting plants at Wensum Park on a dried-out bit of what is usually a flooded inlet, notably Marsh Yellow-cress, Bullwort and Cockspur Grass.

NORWICH: Royal Midget

Late September 2022

In July I had found Royal Midget (Phyllonorycter pastorella) leaf mines in the Norwich area for the first time. This species was only found in the UK for the first time in 2014, and in Norfolk in 2018. The mines that I found were typical, in being long with a single crease on long-leaved Salix sp. During September I started seeing similar mines in other places around Norwich, notably Whitlingham and Wensum Park. I wasn't completely convinced though, as these mines were a fairly normal Phyllonorycter size rather than the 'typical' extra long ones. I decided to collect an occupied mine from Wensum Park, and a few weeks later an adult emerged. It was indeed Phyllonorycter pastorella, a nice little moth with bushy hairs on the front of the head.

NORWICH: Some powdery mildew recording

Late September 2022

With fewer invertebrates being seen on my walks to and from work I decided to focus on powdery mildews, making an effort to check the mildews on different plants. Not all could be confirmed, but a selection included Arthrocladii mougeotii on Duke of Argyll's Teaplant, Erysiphe arcuata on Hornbeam, Erysiphe convolvuli on Bindweed, Golovinomyces chichoracearum on Prickly Lettuce, Neoerysiphe galeopsidis on Bear's Breeches and Podosphaera plantaginis on Ribwort Plantain.

NORWICH: Aphids on Walnut

Late September 2022

Earlier in the year I had seen Large Walnut Aphids, Panaphis juglandis, on the upperside of some Walnut leaves. There is however a second species, Small Walnut Aphid (Chromaphis juglandicola), which I hadn't found, until now. It really was tiny, so I might well have just overlooked them in the past. There was a bonus on the same tree, with my first alate (winged adult) Panaphis juglandis.

NORWICH: Fig-leaf Skeletonizer

Late September 2022

In 2021 a new moth was found in Norfolk, the Fig-leaf Skeletonizer, Choreutis nemorana. Since then I had been checking Fig trees around Norwich on the off chance that it would spread from the initial sightings on the east coast, but I hadn't had any luck. In mid-September Vanna Bartlett found some larvae on Fig in the cathedral grounds, so a few days later I went to check the biggest Fig tree I knew of in the city centre, and hurrah, I managed to find quite a few feeding signs on leaves and a larva building a silk cocoon. There are now a few more dots on the map, which you can see here:

NORTH NORFOLK: A walk on the saltmarsh

17th September 2022 

I had originally intended to attend a fungus study group foray on this date, but instead decided to head to Warham saltmarshes where the Norfolk Flora Group were holding a meeting combined with a workshop on Sea Lavenders. Unfortunately the area we were surveying held only Common Sea Lavender and a hybrid with Lax-flowered, so I still haven't seen Matted or Rock Sea Lavenders - maybe next year!

 The plant highlight for me was Corn Parsley, which I'd not seen before, whilst we also had the benefit of Alex Prendergast's Elm knowledge to point out a couple of different Elm species. 


I checked some Sea Wormwood plants unsuccessfully in the hope of finding Scarce Pug larvae, but did find a consolation in with some Wormwood Case-bearer larvae (Coleophora albicans). Other invertebrate highlights included Coleophora atriplicis on Annual Sea-blite, the lacebug Parapiesma quadratum and Sea Lavender Aphid Staticobium staticis. I failed to find any Sea Lavender Weevils, but perhaps focussed to much on the flowerheads, as something I've since read online suggests that they are best found by turning over the basal leaves.

WHITLINGHAM: September count and lots of Oak associates

11th September 2022

Highlight of the WeBS count was one Wigeon.

I spent a little while looking at an Oak, and found quite a few galls, leaf mines and caterpillars, most of which are pictured below. I also saw some Variegated Oak Aphids, including an alate (winged adult) which was a first for me, having only seen non-winged ones here previously.

Moth leaf mine - Tisheria ekebladella

Heliozella sericella mine and cut-out

Oak Marble Gall
Variegated Oak Aphid
Trioza remota galls
Stigmella sp. leaf mine
Oak Knopper gall
Artichoke Gall
Neurotus anthracinus gall
Smooth Spangle Gall

Buff-tip caterpillar
Caloptilia sp.

Coleophora 'flutipennella'

I also found a hawk moth caterpillar - Poplar Hawk or Eyed Hawk (it doesn't look quite typical for either unfortunately) being attacked by a wasp

NORWICH: An early September miscellany

Early September 2022

A miscellany of interesting sightings from around the city. Firstly whilst taking my daughter to see one of the T-Rex sculptures near Pull's Ferry I decided to check the nearby Walnut trees for galls. This turned out to be a good decision, as I found galls caused by Aceria brachytarsus, a new species for Norfolk. Later in the day I took a walk along the Avenues to see some large Ganoderma resinaceum fruiting bodies growing from the remains of some cut-down Red Oaks.

Last year I had noticed some mildew on Horse Chestnut leaves near Waterloo Park, but they had been too high to reach. This year I again saw the mildew, but this time some leaves were within jumping range! A check under the microscope confirmed that it was Erysiphe flexuosa.

Whilst checking Alders at Wensum Park I found some Green-barred Alder aphids, Pterocallis maculata. I also took advantage of the low water levels to record some new plants for the park, including Red Goosefoot and Trifid Bur-marigold.