After the previous weeks sighting of a female Broad bodied Chaser in the garden, I had been keeping my eyes on the pond in the hope that it would return, and sure enough I found it resting up in virtually the same spot. This time though it graciously stayed put once I had returned with my camera, and despite a messy background, me being picky, I got my shot of this beauty.
After a few hours sleep after the previous nights mothing, I got up to Bev's for a 5:30am start. I love the early mornings, not much traffic noise from the A1, and everything starting to get moving and feeding. The wind was not as intense as last time but not great for insect shots.
Still I strolled around taking in what I could, the Common Terns were already active ferrying fish to their partners, the Great crested grebes were still on eggs and the nest still looked in good shape.
There were a few pairs of Reed Buntings along the waters edge vegetation, busily collecting grubs and insects for their young. And also a good amount of Sedge Warblers flitting about the reeds and shrubs, and actively calling.
There were 3 Oystercatchers still noisily present, and the single Barnacle goose was back amongst the Greylags.
I noticed a lot more Common Whitethroats around the main lake and outskirts, and finally was able to get a record shot of one!
The Swifts still outnumbered the Swallows and Martins, and as always put on a grand showing.
And then it was time to take note of other wildlife for the list, and by now the breeze had picked up and the insect activity was confined to the long grasses and shrubs. Banded Demoiselle's were in good numbers still but hard to spot until they took flight. Then I had to carefully approach where they landed to get some shots of the male and female.
Common Blue Damselflies were everywhere, and not moving much, preferring to ride the breeze out on the vegetation.
The Cinnabar moth, above, and Meadow Brown, below, were new additions to the site list.
And finally a Black-tailed Skimmer gave itself up after a cat and mouse search of the grasses, it thankfully rested up and allowed a close approach for me to capture it on camera.
Halfway though June and the weather is still against wildlife in general, but with a drop in the wind and lay off from the rain I was able to get the light out for some mothing. I totalled up around 30+ moths with 16 different species. I might of got some more if I had stayed up longer but a 1am finish was late enough as I was due out and about at Bev's for an early start.
The two images above and one below represent the Marbled Minor group, and I say group as specific identification as anything other than Marbled can only be truly known by dissection.
The two images below are of Common Pug, they regularly come to light but more often than not I find them resting up on the window frame of the conservatory or on my shed. When pugs become a tad worn I find them a bloody nightmare to identify, luckily for me I send any difficult species, pictures, to Andy and Melissa Banthorpe who soon put me onto the right name.
Two Large Nutmegs.
Mottled Rustic above and Heart and Club below, which I'm sure is a new one for the garden.
After yet more rain I was able to take a short tour of Bev's and check out what was around. Upon setting off I was greeted by a overhead flight of a Hobby, drifting over the lake then onto the common. 3 baby Coots graced the small pond, and the main lake held the large number of rapidly growing Greylags. The Great crested grebes still had eggs, and hopefully the nest will survive any further increase in water levels.
The field edges seemed to be teeming with Damselflies. With it being quiet on the bird front I decided to take note of the insect life around Bev's, mind you I picked a god awful day to start as the wind was blowing strongly and the insects were not hanging around. But I made a start and the main species along the grass edges were Common Blue Damselflies.
The image above I believe is a female type Blue-tailed Damselfly, which was on the small pond. I also saw a fly by dragonfly which I'm sure was a Four-spotted Chaser, unfortunately it kept on hunting and did not land. But the list of insects was at least moving on. I had seen Small White butterflies previously so it was nice to add to them with a couple of Small Heath's and a female Common Blue. Hopefully next time I visit the wind will be a lot calmer and help show more stuff.
The grassland was awash with wild flowers giving the place a lovely blanket of colour between the paths. And around the mobile hide the poppies tried to out do the foxgloves in a battle of colour and I think won with little effort.
This insect, 'Arge Pagana', is the first that I've encountered. I found it on a rose plant in my garden, which is its main food source and where it most probably will lay its eggs inside the plant. It is a member of the Sawfly group of which there are over 400 British species.
'Summer Duck' being an old folk name for Garganey, and this is one duck that I had been waiting to show at Bev's. On arrival I set off as normal along the southern side and was immediately drawn to a commotion in the hedgerow. The blackbirds were going mad at something and then I saw, presumably, a sparrowhawk dive into the hedge further along carrying what was probably a fledged blackbird judging by the assault the adult birds were throwing at the hawk. But the commotion moved into the adjacent garden and out of sight.
I then moved along and started scanning around, as before it was quiet and still holding a lot of water, so not a lot of waders except for Redshank. Then along the scrape edge hidden by plants along the water line, I caught a glimpse of a small duck amongst the local mallards. Just a brief view but, you know when you glimpse something on a bird that makes you aware of what it is straight away? Well that's exactly what happened and I was sure I had just seen a male Garganey!
But then it went out of view, and bloody hell I thought could this finally be it? What seemed an eternity but was just minutes, the bird came into view again and now I was sure I had a male garganey, and then 'oh bloody hell', a female following behind too. I was elated to put it mildly, but then they moved back along the scrapes edge and out of sight again. Eventually they followed along behind the mallards and I was able to get some shots of them both out in the open and finally add them to the site list.
Being quiet otherwise on site I stayed and watched the garganey, a Little egret flew in, almost connecting with a mallard, but was quickly dispatched after two attacks from the resident Lapwings. They were not going to let it stay around and so it flew to the northern side out of harms way. A quick look of the approaching clouds had me heading back to the car as the rain started up again.
At the end of May I was able to get the light out a couple of times, and thankfully I was to get some decent counts for the garden. With just over 30 moths on each night I clocked up 25 species. After these nights the weather changed yet again and going into June the evenings took a drop in temperatures, or rain kept things from emerging. As of writing the light has not come out for June as of yet, and the forecast does nothing to inspire me to have a late one, mind you I will keep an eye on the skies, damned weather forecasters are not too reliable.