Friday, August 26, 2016

W is for Whinchat

Whinchat on Coney Meadows, Ferry Meadows CP, Peterborough, yesterday evening

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Whinchat at Ferry Meadows CP, Peterborough

Found on Coney Meadows by Matt 'Mr Whinchat' Webb, this morning.

Female Redstart at Ferry Meadows CP, Peterborough

Found on Coney Meadows by Don 'Mr Redstart' Gardener, this morning.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Egyptian Goose at Deeping Lakes LWT

Once they were rare around here. This year, they had chicks...

Cattle Egrets at Nene Washes

A couple of Cattle Egrets turned up on the Nene Washes last Thursday. I was able to catch up with them on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Birdfair weekend. They were very mobile, hanging out with various cattle herds on the High Wash at the Dog in the Doublet sluice and on the Low Wash, particularly at the Bassenhally end. These photos were taken on Sunday, just before the egrets flew off high to the south at 7am.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

General ID

Earlier in the year, our garden pond in Peterborough (Cambs, but VC32) was notable for a couple of things. Firstly, it seemed riddled with caddisfly larvae, making their little capsules from the fist leaves of duck weed gathered from the surface and keepign the surface nice and weed free. Secondly, there seemed to be loads of weird grey, segmented leech-like creatures, which judging from the way they were making little circular depressions in the surface tension were breathing air like insect larvae. But they were insect larvae the like of which I hadn't seen before. I tried looking them up using Google and occasionally had hints they may be soldier fly larvae.
At the weekend, Eddie spotted an impressively large yellow and black fly near the edge of the pond. We saw similar flies last year round the pond and I have seen one or two this year to. This one was very passive and ripe for photography:
I am confident that this is a Stratiomys soldier fly and it is between Stratiomys potamida, the Banded General, and S. chamaeleon, the Clubebd General. I suspect the former, but await some ID advice. At the moment I am not sure how to tell the two generals apart...
Update: I have had some advice on general ID. This one is S. potamida. The other species has an angled mark on the scutellum and broader yellow bands (and is v rare); so that makes sense.