Saturday, 2 May 2009

May "bugs" enjoy the sun

A generally bright and sunny day at Blashford today and although there were no many birds to see there were lots on insects about. Both Common Blue Damselfly and Beautiful Demoiselle were recorded for the first time this year. I also saw a new butterfly, in the form of several Dingy Skippers just to the north of the Ivy North hide. I am not sure if they have been recorded there previously, so it might even be a new reserve record. Other butterflies today included Brimstone, several Peacocks and good numbers of Small Coppers.

The Lichen heath was particularly lively in the warm sun with lots of bees and spiders. The picture shows a typical species of sandy places called Arctosa perita not rare but quite impressive with lots of stripes and patches that make it very hard to pick out when it is still. There are also several species of tiny jumping spiders on the heath, but all attempts to get pictures of these have failed as they are so active.

At the Centre pond a Large Red Damselfly had come to grief in the water and been caught by a pair of Pond Skaters. This sometimes happens with newly emerged ones but this seems to have been an older one that some how got caught. The pond is alive with newts at present, mostly Smooth but including some Palmate as well. A puzzled visitor asked me about the pond snails with the strange pink marks on them. These are not a species new to science but the result of a mark and recapture task done recently by a visiting school.

The common Terns on Ivy Lake are taking possession of the rafts now with at least eleven bird this afternoon and lots of displaying and calling. Hopefully they will settled down to nest soon.

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