Tuesday, 28 September 2010

A Sexton Flies In

A mild drizzly night produced a good catch of moths, but not only moths, there were two small dung beetles and one black and orange burying beetle. It was carrying a number of small mites, one or two of which can be seen below the thorax. The red spot is a club end on the tip of the antennae. These beetles are also known as sexton beetles after their habit of burying small carcases on which they and their larvae feed. They will probably also feed on the larvae of other carrion feeders and in some the female beetle stays with her off-spring even feeding them when they are very small.
The great white egret was around for much of the day on Ibsley Water as were yesterday's group of 5 dunlin and 2 ringed plover. There were still good numbers of hirundines about over the lakes, especially early on when the drizzle was still falling. House martins were most numerous, but there were over 50 sand martin over Ivy Lake, a good number for so late in the season.

A flock of small birds near the Ivy North hide in the morning was made up mainly of chiffchaff, with at least twenty, but also included 2 blackcap and a small number of blue tit, great tit and long-tailed tit. However the real surprise was when I realised there was a kingfisher sitting in one of the bushes, these were not bushes on the lake shore, but on the raised bank to the north.

At the end of the day 2 juvenile common tern had turned up on Ibsley Water and the great white egret was still present.

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