September 2016 was mostly a rather balmy, warm dry month with very unseasonably high temperatures (up to 25°C) being recorded on some days. Four species were added to the Garden’s wildlife list, taking it from 847 to 851. More might have been added but I was on holiday for part of the month.
Birds September was yet another quiet month for birds in the Edinburgh Garden. Thirty species were recorded during the month, the same as in August. A Nuthatch was calling in the Chinese Hillside on 7th. Both common wagtail species were recorded: Grey Wagtail twice near the Pond (8th and 30th) and Pied Wagtail once near the North Gate (30th). Pink-footed Geese flew southwards over the Garden at least twice (19th and 28th) – a sign that autumn has arrived. Other migrants included a Swallow on 1st and a Chiffchaff on 30th. The complete list of 30 species recorded during September was: Blackbird, Black-headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Nuthatch, Pied Wagtail, Pink-footed Goose, Robin, Sparrowhawk, Swallow, Wood Pigeon, Wren.
Insects and other invertebrates: Despite the warm sunshine butterflies seemed very thin on the ground (or in the air) in September. The only records made were of Small White on two days (6th, 13th) and Red Admiral on one (27th), though some may have been missed due to my absence on holiday. Moth trapping on 7th yielded two new records for the Garden, Pink-barred Sallow and Pine Carpet, as well as Diamond-back, Large Yellow Underwing, Copper Underwing, Light Brown Apple Moth, Dun-bar and Flame Carpet, while the first record of Triangle Plume since 2009 was made on 28th. Wool Carder Bees were present in the first week of the month, with the last ones being seen on 7th. No dragonflies were recorded. Eight hoverfly species were seen in September, the most frequently recorded being Banded Hoverfly and two drone-flies. Gorse, Birch, and Parent shield-bugs were recorded, as well as Birch Catkin Bug (22nd). Pine Ladybird and 7-spot Ladybirds were both seen. The mines of 17 leaf-mining fly and four leaf-mining moth species were found, with the fly Agromyza alnivora (8th) and the moth Phyllonorycter anderidae (5th) being the month’s remaining two new Garden records. The common garden spider Aranea diademata was seen in its web on 26th.