Before heading out this morning , I went down the garden to photograph another of Carol's pride and joys , an almost white Iris . It was only when I got close up , I noticed two Crab Spiders on the said 'pride and joy' , one a normal white/cream colour , and the other , one that I have not seen before .
When I got out , my first stop was at the Farm Lake , and the early morning sun had many insects warming up , the highlights of the visit being ,
Azure Damselflies , like this male in good numbers ,
one of the Plume Moths , I think it might be Amblyptilia acanthadactyla , but as normal , I stand to be corrected ,the Moorhens have decided on a nest site , and the first eggs have been laid ,again this year , the Southern Marsh Orchid as appeared ,the Salad Burnet/Sanguisorba minor , a member of the Rose family , is in full flower ,I was surprised to find a Field Scabious/Knautia arvensis , a member of the Teasel family , already in flower ,another sighting of a moth identified by Dean , I hope I've got this right , as Epiblema (possibly cirsiana) , but this time mating ,as an example of how difficult it is to identify newly emerged damselflies , how about this one . If it wasn't for segments 8&9 being clear and the 'golf ball on a tee' marking just behind the thorax , would we have put Common Blue Damselfly forward ?Once again I found Black-tailed Skimmer larvae on land , this time on the pebble beach where the boat is hauled out ,it was struggling in the now warm sunshine , so after a photo call , I put it in the shade of the vegetation at the top of the beach ,A Broad-bodied Chaser , in the process of changing from immature to mature male , 'bluing up' was also found ,Apart from 2 Speckled Woods , the only other butterfly recorded was this posing Green Hairstreak ,as I was about to leave , the Blue-tailed Damselflies started to come out to warm up .
I then headed to High Elms , but stopped briefly to see how the House Martins were getting on at Keston . The sky was alive with them feeding , and it looks as if at least 10 nests have been refurbished , and I think a couple of them at least have young already , from the number of visits back to the nests .
The full butterfly transect was the last thing of the morning , with the hope of finding my first Meadow Brown of the year , but it wasn't to be , surprising as most other species have emerged early . 10 species did make it into the book , once again most numerous being Common Blue (21) , followed by Dingy Skipper (11) , really living up to it's name , but I have been recording it for over 4 weeks now .All of the Orchids found were suffering badly from the lack of rain , like this Fly Orchid , which was lying almost horizontal . The Birds-nest Orchids and the White Helleborines seemed happier in the shade of the woodland .