Monday, 8 August 2011

Dragonfly rice?

Dragonfly rice? No, not a new dish available in the centre alongside the vending machine, but rather the size of the dragonfly nymph spotted by one of the children participating in today's "Radical Reptiles and Amazing Amphibians" Playday. "Digi-Micro-scoped" through the microscope you can appreciate it's delicate beauty in detail! I'm even less of an expert on dragonfly nymphs than I am everything else(!), but having said that I'm guessing it is a broad-bodied chaser - but am happy to be corrected if anyone would like to post a more knowledgeable opinion on the matter.

I also managed to get a shot of a rather small free-swimming cased caddisfly larva using the same technique! Different species use different materials to build their shells (grains of silt or sand, small stones, old snail shells, dead leaves, twigs, or, as in this case, pond weed stems).

As always, everyone had fun...

We managed to get smooth newt (adult and eft), toad and frog, but reptiles avoided us (can't have been anything to do with the noise surely?!). I did see a nice sized grass snake in the compost bin before the children arrived though.

Elsewhere on the reserve there were reports of greenshank, green and common sandpiper and the great white egret (on Ibsley Silt Pond first thing and Ibsley Water later on in the day). A hobby was spotted harassing sand martins at Goosander Hide and there is still a reed warbler skulking (sometimes singing) in the vegetation around the centre dipping pond.

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