For some strange reason, when I typed that word (beetle) I had a mental image of Michael Howard saying it.  Like he said ‘people’ – peepooool.  Beetooool.

a beetle doing diagnositic id feature


I’ll name it later.  Probably



Or Woodland?  Woodland or Mottled? Is this the money shot for the iD?

a grasshopper doing I don't bloody know

That’s another bug post dear reader.  Tomorrow I think that I shall focus on clover.  Exciting, huh?


grasshopper doing enough already

Three posts and three bugs – brilliant eh?. 

This is the Woodland Grasshopper Omocestus rufipes and according to my book, it shouldn’t be in my garden nevermind Norfolk at all.  I’m not going to stick my neck out and claim any significance for this due to two facts.  I could have the id wrong.  The map in the bug book could be pants.



Although you might think that an insult, just imagine that it was your actual name!

Behold the Long-winged Conehead Conocephalus discolor.


a conehead doing not a cricket



That’ll be a patch tick and everything like that.  And I identified it all by myself for a change.  My bug book is not completely useless after all…

That patch pan listing thing hasn’t gone away by the way.  There’s no rush…

22 miles an hour

That is the answer.

But what is the question??

[This sounds like a great idea for a game show doesn’t it?]

How fast does a Pied Wagtail fly?

I took this measurement scientifically yesterday whilst following one in a motorised vehicle.  Now  you know!

 You see this moth here?  I don’t know what it is called and nor does it seem to appear in my ever frustrating bug book.  If you leave a withering comment telling me how easy an ID it is and what a moth-simpleton I am, you will leave comment #100 on this blog.  You will win nothing for this.  Nor will it be mentioned again, but you will know and you will take a certain small pleasure from it.

Anyway, the moth…

a moth doing 99

twa bugs

Bug one.  Any ideas?

a bug doing mystery


Bug two. Just because.

ladybird doing close-up

extreme chafing!

Cock, Common, Garden or Welsh?  That is the question.  Something to do with feet.  Something to do with habitat.  I really don’t know, and until a few days ago it would just have been a beetle.  To assist with the definitive identification here are extreme close-up versions of every image I have of the beast, with varying degrees of quality.

So if you know anything about beetles and have nothing to do on this rainy day – chuck your expertise at this lot!

boring fly id post

Do you sometime read posts on blogs and fora where people ask for ID assistance and get annoyed?  You know the kind of thing – I took this photo of a bird and I don’t know whether it is a Blackcap or a Sacred Ibis, can you help?  – it annoys me anyway.  There are those that seem incapable of bothering to identify anything themselves and have 10,000 posts of laziness on line when if they looked in a book or interweb equivalent, they might learn something and stop pestering everyone with trivial ID requests.  Anyway, be rest assured Dear Reader that the ID problem that I present does not fall into this category, absolutely not!  My research has been thorough, concentrated and protracted.  It has caused me to break the spine of my bug book as I have been thumbing so very vigorously, but obviously to no avail.  I am slowly coming to the conclusion that my bug book is rubbish, or I haven’t got a clue.  So here goes, it’s a fly, it flies around a sandy beach with loads of its mates and I don’t know what it is.  Sorry to bother you and all that, what?

a fly doing still, for a moment

orangey moth

More specifically a patch moth that I have been unable to identify.  Any ideas?

orange moth doing stumbling about in the undergrowth

I have seen birds recently by the way.  In case you were wondering…


If you are not interested in the finer points of Gull identification, feel free not to read this post.  I won’t mind.  There is no hidden message in this post, no flourish at the end, not even a piss poor pun to reward your dedication at the end of all the discourse on primary feather configuration.

For those that have decided to commit, here goes – it’s like the Yarmouth Pleasure Beach in ornithological form!

The irregular reader will have been aware that a Yellow-legged Gull Larus micahellis had been found in the patch, and that its image had appeared on this here blog.  Not a quality image, but with notes taken the identification was reasonably certain.  I didn’t think that it would hang around, and there is no shortage of gulls around here to aid distraction/confusion.  Nonetheless, it is still knocking about and it is still seemingly paired up with a Herring Gull.  I don’t know who is Martha, who Arthur.  Neither bird is obviously bigger than the other.   But, because it is still around and still paired up, I wondered if the Gull with yellow legs might be a Herring Gull sub-species as this would make the pairing more likely.  Actually I didn’t really but thought that at the very least, it would be interesting to go through the process of making sure. 

I had heard tell of these beasts referred to as omissus.  So, I had a look in the big-scary-gull-book to find out the finer details of this omissus thing, and started with the index.  It isn’t there.  No really.  I read every single word in the index of that book, and omissus isn’t there.   It is on the web, this link for example, but no reference to it in the index of the Gullists bible.  I did eventually find reference to it on page 263.  Omissus is an occasionally used name for birds that populat(ed) the Baltic Sea.  But it’s not that simple.  All round the Baltic States and Southern Finland it turns out that Herring Gulls often have yellow legs, and can have orbital rings and primary tip markings that can confuse the unwary, albeit this is often going hand in hand with a paler mantle.  So rather than carry on with the possibility that I could end up sobbing in the corner with little nuances of the Kodak Grey Scale going around my head, I thought I’d attack it from the other side.  Definitive proof of ‘micahellisness’.

Ready for a picture yet?

yes, I know about the fence


To do carry out this ID quest, of course, requires better pictures.  And pictures of the open wings, nothing else will do.   No gull ID can be 100% these days without decent images of the primaries.

Check it out.

yes, the fence again. I know


So we have a picture of a darker mantled gull with yellow legs and its wings open.  What do we need to see?  It’s  all about P5, innit.  From Malling, Olsen and Larsson –  “unlike typical Herring, black markings solid on P5”  and “Shows extensive black subterminal bar on P5; if present in Herring it is narrower and mainly restricted to outer web”.  Which looks like this.

from the left...

 Also note “white mirror on p10 and small white mirror on P9” which points to western rather than eastern population origin.

So, as far as I know, by the book it is a Yellow-legged Gull, but the P5 on the link at the beginning looks much the same.  Which is stated with confidence as an omissus.  Bollocks, I’ve done what I didn’t want to do and argued myself into a self-created corner.  Based on the P5 argument, one of us has to be wrong – or am I missing something?

I’ll have to get to watch it some more, take more photos and read some more. 

Either way, as I stated previously, it might be about to breed with a Herring Gull.  You thought this post was dull.  Wait until the young start getting in reach of the camera!