Sunday, 16 August 2009

Sunday 16th.August 2009

Another grey , windy morning , gave another chance to catch up the photographs , and also to watch the families of Tits and Finches , queueing up for the feeders , or for the bird baths for a drink , or a 'full wash and brush up' . The Blue and Great Tits seem to have done really well this year . Carol was down the garden and called that there was a big green Dragonfly on the pond . so grabbing the camera , I headed downstairs . Usual story , it had gone by the time I got there , but it sounded like a female Southern Hawker , perhaps even the one rescued from the car port the other day . Whilst at the pond , I noticed a single strand of web , between two of the plants , and , sitting at one end was a rather unusual looking spider , looking more like a squid , than what it was . I've looked through a lot of spider pictures since , but haven't yet come across anything resembling it .
By lunchtime , the clouds started to part , so I decided to have a look around the farm lake . As I got out of the car , a droning noise welcomed me . It turned out to be a combined harvester , harvesting the field above the lake . With all the noise going on , not much was showing , except for large numbers of Common Darters , some only just taking their first flights , and some of those being set upon by the ever alert males , waiting around the edge of the lake . So , there waslots of mating going on , followed by lots of pairs in tandem , egg laying in the shallow water around the banks . This shots shows the moment , a split second after the female had released a ball shaped egg , when she dipped the end of her abdomen into the water . Apart from the CDs , a couple of Emperor Dragonflies and 25+ Common Blue Damselflies , some of those egg laying , was all that I recorded . Butterflies , apart from a good showing of Common Blues , were just as bad , with no sign of any Gatekeepers , the odd few Meadow Browns and a single , freshly emerged male Brimstone , nectaring on Black Knapweed . I hadn't intended to , but because of the disturbance there , I decided to head for High Elms , not the Burnt Gorse end , but the Conservation Field on the other side of the road . By now , the temperature had risen quite a bit , and it was getting very humid , which is probably why that site was very quiet as well . About a month ago , I posted that there were good numbers of butterflies here , but little flower for them to nectar on . Today , it was a case of lots of flower , especially Black Knapweed and Bird's Foot Trefoil , and not many butterflies to take advantage of it . Common Blues and Meadow Browns were most common , but other species were in very low numbers . Although I wasn't doing a transect count today , I would say that the day flying moth Silver Y , was probably the third most numerous . Only things of interest found were , another spider , which I think is a Nursery Web Spider-Pisaura mirabilis , guarding it's egg sack within the tent , and another shot of the Hover Fly-Chrysotoxum bicinctum , that Dean identified a few posts back . By 3 o'clock , it was too hot to be out walking , so I headed back to the car , and the shade at home .


Warren Baker said...

Hi greenie,
if they leave the straw bales in that field after cropping, it may be worth checking them ealy one morning or early evening for 'chats' and wheatear

Anonymous said...

Interesting post again, Greenie. In the spring I found spiders like the one in your first shot lying close to the Juncus stems on Morton Marsh and thought they might be Tetragnatha extensa.

Anonymous said...

That Chrysotoxum really is a belter of an Hoverfly. Well captured, Greenie.