Harlequin Here To Stay
A much better day, nice and sunny this morning. The ivy is still attracting lots of insects, including this ladybird. I haven't posted one lately. I think this is a harlequin, Harmonia axyridis, forma succinea. The harlequins originated in eastern Russia, China and Japan and found their way to the UK via the USA and Europe in 2004. They are bigger than our native ladybirds and predate them. I think I can just see an orange leg. Native ladybirds have black legs. There was concern that the harlequins would wipe out our native ladybirds. No chance of them flying away home, they're here to stay. It has been documented that some native predators of the insects, such as a parasitic wasp that lays eggs on the ladybird, have started preying on them. This means that ladybird numbers are expected to reach some form of equilibrium.
I've included three birds which were perched at the very top of conifers. A young jay, a coal tit and a great spotted woodpecker.