Monday, 25 July 2011

A Dotty Day, with Visiting Emperor

Bird News: On Ibsley Water the black-necked grebe first reported over the weekend was still present, it is in "winter" plumage, but looked like an adult as far as I could see, which seems a little odd. Also there were 2 common sandpiper, a black-tailed godwit, 200 mute swan (a count, not an estimate) and the little ringed plover still had their two chicks.
Moth News: A good selection including some interesting species. There were several small dotty moths, the best being one without a common name, Ethmia dodecae which seems to be the first record for this 10km square.
Even dottier was an orchard ermine and this bird cherry ermine.
A light crimson underwing was good to see, this is a real New Forest speciality being found in very few places away from there. This one would have been very fine if it had not rubbed the hair from the thorax. I did get it to show the crimson underwing though.
Perhaps more interesting than the underwing, although I would agree less spectacular, was a crescent, I think a first for the reserve.
Other Insect News: Despite the notable moths, the "Insect of the Day" title went to a dragonfly, a fine lesser emperor which was putting on a good show around Ellingham Pound. These used to be "megas", a bit less so nowadays, but still only the second reserve record. They are migrants, only surviving year round in North Africa and perhaps the extreme south of Europe.
Other Stuff: I spent the afternoon trying to clear up the really hard to reach Himalayan balsam plants lurking beside the Dockens Water. Some were really hard to get though and a few will need a boat as even the chest waders were not enough. I did see a few other plants along the way including a good few broad-leaved heleborine, although they grow in such deep shade that getting a picture was difficult. The plants look quite dull, but up close they individual flowers have all the exoticism of a tropical orchid

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