Monday, 14 May 2012

Monday 14th. May 2012

I managed to get out for just over an hour first thing this morning , before the cloud bank to the NW rolled over , and shortly afterwards , the first spits of rain started falling . The only thing that has changed between then and now is the intensity of that rain , varying from drizzle to real wet stuff .I decided to make a first visit of the year to the Farm lake , stopping off on the way at the rookery , where things have quietened down considerably , as many of the youngsters have now left the nests
and can be seen following their parents around the horse fields , begging for every bit of food found by the adults . Like all the Corvids , a very difficult bird to get close to , and with so many pairs of eyes watching , one step too close , an alarm call , and everyone departs for the far end of the field .
A few of the youngsters are still in the trees , no doubt discussing the pros and cons of leaving their high perch . The sun was just about showing when I got to the Farm lake , but it didn't last long . I disturbed a Grey Heron from the corner , but my initial scan produced just a single Mallard . It was far too cool for butterflies or dragonflies , and indeed I saw neither on my visit . Around the road side
of the lake , Bogbean / Menyanthes trifoliata , has just come into flower and doing it's best to brighten the day . And doing the same were just a few heads of one of my favourite flowers , Ragged
Robin / Lychnis flos-cuculi . On the arable field side , there was a singing competition between Common Whitethroat , Blackcap and Skylark , but I only caught brief glimpses of the contestants . Two Swallows flew over , hopefully the pair that nest in the stables up near the house , and then some movement on the lake , when a Coot and a Moorhen started scrapping . On the bank at the
house corner , a single Oxeye Daisy in flower , all others were still in tight bud . As I photographed it , the first few spots of rain could be seen on the surface , which hastened my pace along the last side of the lake and back to the car . I did however stop briefly when I saw a Little Grebe amongst
the Bullrush stems , and managed to get a few shots , before a call from another one from deep in the
bankside vegetation , and it was gone . If they do breed this year , I hope that they will be more successful , having lost their four youngsters , probably to the Grey Heron , last year . As I left the site , I counted 11 Magpies in the horse paddock .
I have also spent quite some time trying to ID the two red and black insects posted yesterday , without any success .
Since posting , Phil / Sharp by Nature has identified the sheild bug type insect as Eurydema oleracea  / Rape Bug , which is found on several of the crucifers / cabbage family , including Rape and Garlic Mustard / Jack by the Hedge . Of interest , the markings on the black can be yellow , white or red . Thanks very much indeed Phil .
Many thanks also to ShySongbird / ShySongbirds Twitterings , who came up with the same ID , only to be pipped by Phil . Not very gentlemanly , but he is a Rat Packer .


Phil said...

Hi Greenie
Your red shield bug type insect yesterday could be a Brassica bug Eurydema oleracea. Their spots can be anything from cream through to red and they are shield bug family. Have a look and see what you think.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Greenie, first of all I was so entrenched in trying to ID your bugs that you beat me to it with this post, however I have what I'm pretty sure is the ID for the first bug which I think is the Brassica Shieldbug (Eurydema Oleracea) See Here

I thoroughly enjoyed the post and photos as always. You did very well with the butterflies. I was hoping to see a Green Hairstreak yesterday but no luck, I did at last see my first Orange Tip of the year though!

Nice to see the Little Grebe on this post, I can never get very close to one. I too like Ragged Robin and that is a lovely photo of it.

ShySongbird said...

Oh dear, Phil's comment wasn't here when I wrote mine.

Warren Baker said...

Great L. Grebe photo Greenie :-)

I too love the Ragged Robin flower, in fact I bought some this weekend and put them in my wildflower garden :-)