I spent another afternoon trying and failing to find the Siberian Chiffchaff a few minutes down the road at Poswick Sewage Works, despite it being reported to be singing and showing well just an hour earlier. That's almost 10 hours I've clocked up at the site now, without a hint of anything even remotely Siberian- I think I'll get the hint and stick to Grimley.
Thankfully, the weather was far from Siberian, and there was a great deal of invertebrate activity in the sun-drenched hedgerows surrounding the sewage works. Hundreds of Apion weevils and Lygus plant bugs to head-scratch over, and it was whilst photographing the first Slender Groundhopper of the season that my attention was drawn to this Pied Shieldbug perched on a nettle leaf.
Despite having a relatively well spread distribution throughout the country, it's a bug I've only ever swept on a few previous occasions, and I'd almost forgot how ridiculously refulgent they are...
|If anyone ever needed convincing that British bugs could be as striking as those found in the tropics, they should have a Pied Shieldbug thrown at them.