Monday, 11 July 2011

Bugs and Beasties

A trip along the A69 with John A for the day had me delving into my first full day of  "Bug" hunting.  After a early morning foray on Friday looking at Exuvia which was absolutely fascinating I was well up for it.


Exuvia at Big Waters
Back to Sunday and we arrived at out destination although neither of us will pass our NVQ 1 Geography and it was fortunate that when we stopped to ask a 3rd person it turned out to be the local Gamekeeper who was a mine of information.  He did look at our "Walking Boots" (himself was adorned with yellow wellingtons) and said it was pretty wet and gave us directions.  About 90 mins later we arrived at what we thought was the location and after much perusing about the first thing we encountered was a Common Darter, well we both thought it was although looking at pretty pics elsewhere am sure it is a female Black Darter although we did spot Male Common Darters but didnt get any pics.  The following pics were not of that particular one but just ones of several we spotted that day.

Black Darter (I Think)



Black Darter (I Think)

The next one we encountered was the object of our visit, the White Faced Darter and after getting a couple of shots we were quite happy but during the rest of the visit (6hrs) we encountered many more or as some cynics would say "the same one many times" although at one stage we could see 4 and also several views of them coupling but alas that was very difficult to photograph so here is a small selection of an amazing looking darter which actually was a lot smaller than I expected.

White Faced Darter

White Faced Darter

White Faced Darter

White Faced Darter
One thing I did notice about these is that they nearly always returned to the same spot to sunbathe and also they had a penchant for deadish looking perches.

By far the most populous dragonfly was the 4 Spot Chaser which was unbelievably accommodating in posing for Mr Nikon (although a lot of the shots would have been better had I not left my Fuji Finepix with the much better macro facility on in the car).

4 Spotted Chaser

4 Spotted Chaser

4 Spotted Chaser
The pools were alive with Damselflys

Emerald Damselfly

Emerald Damselfly

A Bit of "Coupling"
There was quite a few Moths and Butterflies around but this will require another visit to try and see what there actually is although we did see Skippers, Heaths, Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Green Veined, Whites and several others.  The Moths were impossible to recognise as I would only be able to recognise 2.  The following Moth (I think its one) was seen several times and is quite pretty but can anybody out there identify it for me.

Unidentifed "Moth"
 There was a few birds around the most prolific being Swallows and Martins although the day count ended up at 29.  We had several sightings of Buzzards, normally pairs, not sure how many but did notice at least one pair with quite a difference in size and another the same size.  I did spot an unidentified Warbler though

Warbler, possibly of the Sedgedunum variety
p.s.  havent had time to check the typing for errors as I must depart for work :(
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