On Monday 18 July, which was warm and sunny, I was doing my usual lunchtime wildlife recording walk-round, accompanied by a young work placement student named Caius who was here for the week. We were in the Rock Garden and I was showing Caius the Garden’s speciality the Wool Carder Bee which was busily flying around plants of house-leek (Sempervivum tectorum). Caius interrupted me and commented that there was a cricket on the rock. Sure enough, there was a brownish insect that was clearly a member of the Orthoptera, the insect order that includes crickets and grasshoppers, beautifully camouflaged against the stones. I started taking photographs and told Caius that although I didn’t know the species, it would be the Garden’s first record of any member of the Orthoptera. Later that evening I managed to identify it as Common Field Grasshopper, Chorthippus brunneus. This new record brings the Garden’s wildlife total up to 822. Whether it is resident in the Garden and just overlooked until now, or whether it was just visiting the Garden on a warm sunny day, may never be known. My thanks to Caius for spotting the insect and telling me!
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