Thursday, 28 April 2011

Thursday 28th. April 2010

After yesterday's 11 hour door to door trip , it was time to catch up with some of those jobs that have been waiting to be done this morning . After lunch , I did have to go into town , and just happened to return via Spring Park Pond . No sign of the Large Red Damselflies , or anything else at the pond , due to a strong Northerly wind . So I headed for the small meadow , hoping that being more sheltered , I might find some interest . As I entered it from the woods , it appeared that every St.Marks Fly in the area had moved into the Bracken and Bramble , waiting for the wind to abate . Walking the small path , I caught a glimpse of a Broad Bodied Chaser , but lost it in flight as it was buffeted by the wind . Reaching the end and just about to retrace my steps , there on the path , my first Small Copper of the year . Then , just before re-entering the woods , another sighting of the Broad Bodied Chaser as it was disturbed by the swarm of St.Mark's Flies . It settled back down , and I managed to get a few shots . Being newly emerged , it is impossible to say whether it is a male or female , as all newly emerged specimens are this colour . If it is a female , it will basically stay this colouration , but if a male , the abdomen will change from yellow/gold to powder blue . the pristine condition of the wings also confirm that it is newly emerged , as mating and airial battles between males will soon damage their delicate
fabric . I checked out the rest of the vegetation for any others , but only found this Hoverfly / Myathropa florea , resting , waiting for the sun to come back out again . I spent more time than I intended , searching for the 'drummer' of a very delicate drumming coming from the top of an Oak , but every time I got into a good viewing situation , the drumming stopped , only to carry on after I moved away . Was it a Lesser Spotted , we will never know , as I never once caught sight of it . I wasn't alone though , I was accompanied by this Blackbird singing from under a large Yew .
In did eventually get back home and finished the jobs in time to have a quick look at the Farm lake . On arrival , this female Green Woodpecker flew from the lake side , and watched me from a nearby tree . The Coot family is already -1 , I found the remains of one of the youngsters on the far side of the lake . If previous years are anything to go by , if just one or two of the youngsters gets to adulthood , that's a result . A female Mallard was also caring for 8 ducklings , but the owner tells me that she has already lost 3 of the youngsters . Around the edge of the lake , with the Coltsfoot finished , the Cowslip getting that way , the next species to do it's thing is the Ragged Robin / Lychnis flos-cuculi , a member of the Pink family .
And finally , having found the 'flower on a stick' back in flower again at Spring Park Pond , am posting it again , in the hope that someone will recognise it . Personally , I'm of the opinion that it could be yet another 'introduced species' .


Marianne said...

I didn't realise Broad-bodied Chaser males had the same coloration and pattern as females when fresh - thanks for that info. I saw one yesterday, and after looking at the photos on this site: decided that mine was probably an immature male, as it has quite long anal appendages...! I think yours could be a female though, going by its smaller appendages and the rounder shape of its backside.

Alan Pavey said...

Nice pic of the Chaser Greenie, you did well considering the wind today :-)

Phil said...

Lovely small copper - haven't seen any up here yet. 'Flower on a stick' could be an Alisma species - one of the water plantains, maybe A. plantago-aquatica?

Greenie said...

Marianne ,
A couple of years ago I managed to take some shots of male BBC 'bluing up' from their immature stage . If I can find them , I'll post a shot .

Phil ,
Thanks for your input . That is the area I have been digging in too . Trouble with Common Water -Plantain , medium/tall , it has lilac flowers , June-Sept. in whorls around stem and basal leaves .
The 'flower on a stick' seems to be leaf free , just the 'stick' coming from the pond bed , in flower since March , and only about 15cm. above the surface . See shot posted 24/4.
I'm still digging but thanks again .

Kingsdowner said...

To quote Lord Melchett:
"It's a stick"

Good stuff on the chaser!

Greenie said...

Steve/Kingsdowner ,

Best comment of the year by far .
Like your style .

Warren Baker said...

Wont be long before you get the Blue damsels now Greenie.

Those Coots and Mallard only need to raise two young, that keeps the population stable :-)

Mike said...

Fine example of a broad bodied chaser, nice pics.