Sunday, 6 May 2012

What a difference a bit of sun makes

What a difference a bit of sun makes. The temperature overnight just failed to drop to zero and a little frost was around at first light. But the sun came out, it wasn't particularly warm, in fact quite cool when it went behind the cloud, but it made a difference. Seven species of warbler around including a Lesser Whitethroat in the big hedge, a Garden Warbler in the scrub next to Wanister Bog and a Grasshopper Warbler singing in gorse at the south end of Felledge Wood. In the same clump as last year. A couple of Wheatears at Daisy Hill  and my first Marsh Tit on the patch since 2000. This latter bird was in the few Beech trees in the small wood north of Waldridge Lane opposite Felledge wood.

A couple of Reed Bunting at Daisy Hill

A Kestrel trying to be something else

Some butterflies were out in the sun but after such a prolonged cold and wet spell it was not surprisingly there were not many,  Orange-tip and Green-veined White were the commonest but a single Peacock and Speckled Wood were also seen. Despite a fair bit of waiting around and looking there were no sign of any Green Hairstreaks. A few Heath Moths were on the wing however.
Hoverflies were seen today, mainly Syphrus ribesii with well over 50 of both sexes counted mainly feeding on Dandelions but apart from a couple of Platycheirus albimanus, they were still not that common.
Syphrus ribesii  (lots of females about to confirm this males identity)

A Green Tiger Beetle at Wanister  was the first of the year.

Green Tiger Beetle

Good numbers of Tawny Mining Bee were seen at many spots. The commonest invertebrate  today was the St. Mark's Fly (Bibio marci). There were thousands everywhere in the woods and on the fell.
The spring woodland flora is at last making a decent show, many of the Bluebells and Wood Forgetmenots are now out, quite a bit later than their hybrid and garden relatives to be found dumped in the more open ditches and hedgerows.
Field Woodrush
Wood Forgetmenot

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