Sunday, 7 July 2013

Weather to watch Insects

After a week of bright but at times unsettled and stormy weather, it seems much of Britain has been struck by a mini heatwave. This is of course excellent weather for watching Butterflies and Dragonflies go about their business. Before recounting the last 2 days, of note at Church Marsh was a Common Tern upriver on the evening of the 3rd, new for the year.
Yesterday Debs and I spent the heat of the day at Wheatfen. We ended up with a cracking species list. Scarce Chaser were relatively common both in dykes and over the reeds. Black-tailed Skimmer, Norfolk Hawker, 4 Spotted Chaser and probable Broad-bodied Chaser were our other big Odonata. Onto Damselflies, and we saw Large Red, Azure, Common Blue, Banded Demoiselle and Blue-tailed. Butterflies were also on fantastic form. We were lucky to receive a fly-past from a single Swallowtail. Large Skipper was new for the year, and Small Tortoiseshell were seemingly everywhere. Really pleased to see them doing well. 

Today, woken by the new Cat I decided to get out and about before the heat became oppressive. Thankfully, there was some bird interest at Church Marsh. A single Green Sandpiper was working the muddy edges of the lagoon. A Little Egret flew overhead, and despite the growing heat the Warblers were all in good voice including Grasshopper- at least 2 of these reeling. Back to the insects, and the expected Red-eyed Damsels were on the lily pads floating on the river. A scarce Chaser hunted over the lagoon, and a Brown Hawker buzzed through. Ringlet Butterflies were out and about, new for the year. I love their beautiful subtlety. 
Onto Rockland, and again Small Tortoiseshell were in abundance. Large Skipper also increasing as the morning went on. I saw a Common Darter, new for the year. Finally, 2 Common Terns fished the broad. 

 Four-spotted Chaser
 Small Tortoiseshell
 Common Darter
 Large Skipper
Scarce Chasers 'busy'.

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