Thursday, 19 May 2011

It hasn't really got any better

Cold overnight with the temperature dropping to 7.2C and it was rather breezy too. It felt more like March than May and the trap held what you would normally get in March, minus the Orthosia moths, that is nothing, the big zero!
The garden is looking good despite the cold and lifting with Bumblebees with all six species I have already seen this year, and 3 species of Hoverfly present this tea-time. I think the Bee-flies and Tawny Mining-bees are now over and my count of Oil Beetles was also the big zero this year. A little Cucumber Spider (Araniella cucurbitina) was waiting patiently .......

Cucumber Spider  Araniella cucurbitina

and I found a moth, a Brimstone.


Bird-wise not much better with a family party of Great spotted Woodpeckers seen in the paddock being the best. A little wander after work today and I thought I might have the bird of the year when I saw a large bird of prey, very slowly flapping low over the hedgerow. I got a glimpse of a white rump and I really thought I had got a harrier. There have been 1-2 Montagu's Harriers seen in the NE recently and I got rather excited. But as my luck goes I got a good view and it was just a large, and I mean really large,  female Sparrowhawk, trying to flush small birds out of the hedge, albeit harrier-style. It has not the female of the pair nesting nearby, but neither was it a Goshawk or Harrier. 

Added a few more flowering plants to my list today - Pendulous Sedge, Mugwort, Alsike Clover, Hop Trefoil, Wood Avens, Broad Dock and Hogweed.

Wood Avens or Herb-Bennet
Last month I mentioned I could not find the native Black Poplar which I thought used to be on the fell. The county flora recorder had kindly got in touch to tell me it is still there. I'm looking in the wrong place, in fact I think I'm walking past it on occasion. Fortunately he has kindly given me a grid reference. So that's my task for the weekend.


Flowering plants - 185
Birds - 102
Butterflies - 13
Moths - 67
Hoverflies - 8
Mammals - 8

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