Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Wednesday 19th. June 2013

Firstly , many thanks to Keith for identifying the spider on the last post as Heliophanus cupreus , one of the Jumping Spiders , so named for waiting in ambush and jumping on it's prey .
An overcast morning with an early shower , suddenly opened up to sunshine and warmth , which encouraged me to visit Spring Park pond before lunch . The conditions suited the Odonata , but still only the common species of damselflies were seen . Lots of Azures , many in tandem , some paired
up in the 'ring' . There seemed to be a dire shortage of females , with unattached males charging around , sometimes trying to dislodge already joined pairs . Fewer Common Blues and just a handful
of Blue-tailed and a good sprinkling of Large Red completed the picture . Three female Broad-bodied Chasers attended the pond whilst I was there , but there was no sign of a male to mate with them . The next visit will hopefully find an Emperor on the wing , as although there was no sign of an adult
today , two exuvia , the shed skin of the larva , could be seen out on emergent vegetation , told that
they have emerged recently . Around the pond , Hedge Woundwort / Stachys sylvatica , a member of
the Labiate family , is coming into flower , a much overlooked plant in my estimation , with it's almost Orchid-like flowers . Wildlife never ceases to amaze me , on Sunday , I found my first ever
Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle , and today I found another three . One posed on an
unopened Yellow Flag Iris , whilst another took up a 'Marcesque' pose on grass  . As I was leaving the pond , a male Scorpion Fly /  Panorpa cognate , gave an unusual opportunity to get a shot of his
underside , in particular , the tail from which the species gets it's common name . With the sun still shining after lunch , I returned to Hutchinson's Bank in the hope of finding another Painted Lady or even a Clouded Yellow , especially given the number of migrant Silver Y moths I had seen in the meadow around the pond in the morning . Two hot hours failed to find either , but I did find a mating
pair of Common Blue , female above . The sun certainly brought the Small Blues out , with at least
30 seen , including another egg laying female , tucked down in the heart of the Kidney Vetch . Finally a couple of things found in The Cutting on my way back to the car , one of several stand of
Hoary Plantain / Plantago media , and what I thought from distance to be a large Comma , but turned
out to be a very tatty Peacock .

1 comment:

ShySongbird said...

I've enjoyed all your recent posts Greenie, quite a few insects I've never seen or have overlooked. It is all too easy to overlook the tinier creatures as it is some of the less showy flowers, your Hedge Woundwort being a very good example.

Good to see the lizard again, lovely photo, not so nice to see the parasites on it though. The Large Skipper did look very pristine which is more than can be said for the poor old Peacock on this post. Great damsel captures too.