After dealing with my moth trap this morning, I went to have a look at the pond to see if any dragonflies had emerged. By the edge of the pond were the shiny wings of at least four hawker dragonflies (there were 15 ripped wings), plus part of the exuvia of one.
These were almost certainly Southern Hawkers which had emerged in the night and been scoffed by what I assume was a Blackbird or perhaps a Song Thrush. It is the first time I have seen evidence of predation of newly-emerged dragons and I must say it made me a tad sad.
The slight happy ending came when I saw a single teneral Southern Hawker flying off from the surrounding vegetation. At least one may survive to breed and produce the next generation of nymphs for the pond.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
The Weedon family took a trip to Bedford Purlieus yesterday, for insects and reptiles. We saw a few Slow Worms and the odd White-letter Hairstreak, but easily the most prominent insects were Silver-washed Fritillaries. Not so many years ago, these were very scarce around Peterborough. Yesterday, there were dozens of them on the wing.
These included this aberrant form.Anyone seen anything similar?
Posted by BW at 12:24 PM
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
Yesterday, Will B and I went to check out a report of a young Night Heron, found by Bob Titman during his WeBs count. He found the bird on a private pit at Bainton Pits, and it sounded like a nightmare to connect with, as it had disappeared into some bushes and reeds and these birds can spend the whole day stock still, without showing. I called Brian Stone to fill him in on the situation and hit the road.
As I approached Bainton pits, I got a call from Will saying that Bob had called to say he had relocated the bird briefly on the Maxey Cut. We met up with Bob and he showed us where it had been so we set about waiting and searching.
Luckily, about three-quarters of an hour later, we saw it land briefly on a little island and got a few brief views over the next couple of hours. It was a first-summer, resembling a spotty juvenile, but with a grey tail, for instance, to show its maturation.
Night Heron is my 235th bird species for the Peterborough area.
The above photo was not it. However, Will got a few shots, you can see here. Later, the weather set in, we left the area, and to date, no one has reconencted with the bird...
Posted by BW at 2:14 PM
Friday, June 10, 2011
I found this adult Large Yellow Underwing walking across the pavement near my home this morning. I screeched to a halt on my bike to look, thinking it may be a large beetle. The wings have formed completely and with the correct pattern, but on a minute scale, while the body seems perfectly normal. Odd isn't it?
Posted by BW at 9:36 AM