Alderton Hill & Dumbleton

This weekend we enjoyed a lovely walk over Alderton Hill to Dumbleton and back. There were plenty of butterflies, including many Marbled Whites and these, easier to photograph, Large Skippers hanging out on brambles next to a field of uncut wild grass. The Ragwort flowers were covered in Red Soldier Beetles, mostly busy making baby beetles. This Robin’s Pincushion, on a wild rose in the hedge, is caused by the larvae of a small gall wasp (Diplolepis rosae), which secrete a chemical that causes the rose bud to grow abnormally. Each gall contains many larvae living in separate compartments inside the gall. Birding-wise, I was happy to see a little owl and my first spotted flycatcher this summer.