Thursday, 26 May 2011

What a Catch

It actually rained today, not much but it has become such a rare event that I could not let it pass without mention.The overnight cloud kept the temperature up and so the moth catch was quite good, nothing rare but there was a small clouded brindle, a species described in the books as "common" but one we rarely see.
Being Thursday it was Volunteer Day, however we did not do a task today, instead they went pond-dipping. It is always interesting to see just what is caught and it is often not the big things that really catch the eye.

One of the most looked at finds today was this humble midge pupa.

Jim pointed out a bees nest in one of the bird boxes yesterday, at the time I could not see what species they were, so I had another look today and found they were woodland bumblebees, they way they have closed down the entrance hole is particularly interesting and something I have not seen other species of bumblebees do.

I did have one other interesting sight today, as I returned from the Ivy South hide a kingfisher flew up onto one of the dead trees in the silt pond, it had a large fish, about as long as the bird's body. After about three minutes beating it against the branch it flew off. However it was not quite that simple. In beating the fish it repeatedly turned it so as to beat it on both sides, it also held it both on each side and upright, which meant the bill was open at a very wide angle. Finally, with the fish at least stunned, it flipped as though to swallow it tail first and flew off. This meant the head was pointing straight ahead, presumably much the easiest and most aerodynamic way for a kingfisher to carry a large fish.

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