Tuesday, 10 May 2011


There are masses of insects enjoying the continuing sunshine such as these mating azure damselflies seen at the country park on Tuesday 10th. Alongside the path near the hide, many of the brightly blue males can be seen resting or flying amongst the nettles and other plants. Also noted were lots of the blue-tailed damselflies and one hairy dragonfly hawking along the path.

One or two lesser stag beetles such as this one above, are often seen each year at the park. This beetle is much smaller than its cousin the stag beetle and the pincers at the front of the lesser stag are much smaller too.

It's turning out to be a very good spring for butterflies at the park, helped by the sunshine this year as well as the very sunny spring last year too. Two brown argus' butterflies flitted low over the grassland near the park entrance. This photo above was the best shot I could manage as they never settled for long enough.

The green hairstreak season might be at its peak with several pairs of males tussling in most corners of the park. There could be up to a dozen around the park although their green markings make them hard to spot if they're not seen flying. The brimstone, small copper, small heath were some of the 12 species of butterfly seen at the park on Monday.

This small yellow underwing moth must be the smallest of any of the "macro moths" recorded at the park. It flitted from flower to flower in the middle of the day and unsually for most moths, was enjoying the sunshine, quivering its wings when resting on a flower.

This scalloped hazel was one of 20 species of moth seen in the trap on Monday morning. Amongst the other moths seen were the peacock, blood-vein, pebble prominent, light emerald, green carpet, common carpet, red twin-spot carpet, brimstone, cinnabar, latticed heath, brindled pug, Chinese character, common swift, rustic shoulder knot, shuttle shaped dart, heart and dart and hebrew character.

The main bird of interest was the first turtle dove at the park this spring, seen perching on an oak tree at the back of the fields on Monday. A short while later in the morning it was singing from trees at the back of the pond. The male marsh harrier returned to hunt low causing a brief moment of panic at the pond and then over the grazing fields where it was chased off by lapwings.

Martin Cock was lucky enogh to be looking up in the sky from his garden on Monday and watched a ringtail Montagu's harrier fly north-east overhead. Needless to say it didn't stay around and wasn't seen again.

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