On this very non-Summery day , I only managed an hour this morning and the same this afternoon , in between some heavy , blustery showers .
This morning , I spent the hour at the farm lake , which I seem to have neglected over the past week or so . It wasn't really Dragon/Damselfly weather , and not many turned up . There was a stiff breeze over most of the lake for most of the visit , and species found were in the small sheltered area in one corner . Butterflies were also concentrated in the same area , and it was noticeable straight away that Gatekeeper numbers , including several females , had exploded since my last visit . But , apart from them , I only recorded Small White , Small Skipper and Meadow Brown , all in very small numbers . I changed my attention to the Dragon/Damselflies , and was pleased to soon come across a very fresh male Ruddy Darter . He gave me the run around for quite a while , but eventually agreed to pose for me , but it was only temporary , for after half a dozen shots , he was off , never to be seen again . The more exposed part of the lake produced little , apart from a male Common Darter , trying to get some warmth from the pebbles on the 'beach' . I thought at the time , it would be a good opportunity to post both species together , for comparison . The main differences being the shorter , waisted abdomen , black legs , and deeper colouring of the Ruddy Darter . The legs of the Common Darter have yellow stripes . After all the sightings previously , I only saw two Black Tailed Skimmers , and not a single Hawker Dragonfly . All around the lake , the Tansy , not a rare , but an uncommon plant , is coming into flower , if that's what you can call it , as it is just a rayless button , rather than a proper flower . around the wet edges , the frog/toadlets are less in number now , and do not seem to have grown an awful lot since the last time I looked . I think this one was a toad , judging from the warty appearance . Also in flower , but with not many insects benifiting from it , is the Teasel , a very architectural plant . On one of the umbelifers , I spotted an unusual fly , with enormous ruby coloured eyes . I haven't got a clue on this one , but Dean might , and I have some more work for him later .
After lunch , the skies brightened again , and I headed off for Spring Park Pond . I arrived , unable to park in the normal car park , as that and a large area of the playing fields and meadow were cordoned off by the Police as a crime scene , following a shooting/murder , the previous evening . The drone of the Police helicopter was in my ears whilst posting last night's Blog , and now I know why . The Pond and the meadow that I record were both outside the cordon so I got on with my business , and left them to theirs . Considering the conditions , I recorded a good species list of 12 , albeit in small numbers . Nothing to write home about , but a singleton Marbled White and Small Copper were good to find . The Small Copper , like Warren's yesterday , was very fresh and of the form with blue spots on the hindwings . Back to Dean's work , I found this fly on the fence around the pond , and it had obviously caught another insect . I have found this species before , but haven't identified it . I then moved the attacker off , revealing another strange species , with what looks like a proboscis , similar to that found on the Scorpion Fly . When I first saw the colouration , I thought that it was a Leafhopper of some sort , but have moved away from that now . Sorry to land you with three unknowns Dean , but if you have any ideas , I would be obliged . By now the clouds were really building from the Northwest , and I headed for the car . On my way , the Police helicopter made several low passes over the area . I was in the house no longer than two minutes when the heavens opened again .
55 minutes ago