Monday, 27 May 2013

Two Days of Summer?

My oh my, what a glorious weekend. Super sunshine, low winds, just fabulous. I had decisions to make, was I going to go to Burton Mere to hope to get some of the warblers knowing that it would be heaving with people or was I going to look for tiny stuff which I could do on my local patch.

I decided on the second option but I also chose to add a couple of trips to areas new to me too. I have recently rejoined the Nature Trusts.and decided a visit to North Wales Trusts site at Marford Quarry. It is as the name suggests the site of an old quarry which has been allowed, with the help of the Trust, to return to nature. I had no idea what was going to greet me, but I was excited all the same. I was there on saturday morning by 07.15, the sun was just climbing over the tip of the quarry and there was a tiny chill in the air. Full of ups and downs and fenced off areas where the growth of species such as Twayblade Orchid are being encouraged. It also has areas where tin and felt are being used to give slow worms somewhere to rest and warm up. I was lucky enough to see and hold a slow worm, with the help of one of the trust volunteers, and to see a shrew under one such tin sheet.

The stars of the visit that I managed to photograph were my first Gorse shield bug and my first Dingy Skipper.


I was disappointed not to see any other butterflies with the exception of a single Orange tip. However I had left by about 11am.

So back then to my local patch. I had decided to stick with the small stuff. I had seen a Large Red Damselfly at one pond in the village earlier in the month but a trip back had failed to find it again. A trip to another pond gave me opportunity to search for some more.

I managed to see a few other things too. The first is a Click beetle, the second is a Liocoris Tripustulatus -a plant bug.

Sunday saw me out early again and still local. I was still after the small stuff. My legs give me so much trouble these days that I have started to shy away from carrying the big lens. I will when I have something particular in mind, like the warblers at Burton Mere. Although I am once again considering selling the 600. I could spend a little of mums money to change to something a little lighter.

I got up close and personal with a Green Veined White.

and a 14 spot Ladybird

I also got a rather smart pic of a Scorpion Fly.

and another long named fly.

A Rhingia Campestris, recognised by its large snout.

My trip out on Sunday was to the New Ferry Butterfly Park on the Wirral. A Cheshire Wildlife Trust site. It has over 28 species of butterflies regularly seen there of which a lot are resident. Its the site of an old railway siding. It was very disappointing as I only saw 4 species. It is well behind on the growth if the grasses and plants that the butterflies require. However the trip was not completely lost. I got the following stars.

A Four Spotted Chaser.

and a Common Lacewing.

I will return in a few weeks, to see what else they have.

Back on the local patch I finished off the day with a beautiful little arachnid. The Araniella Cucurbitina.

Its a tiny little spider, but still a cutie.

I was a bit disappointed that I didn't go to Burton Mere in the end as they had a couple of rarities ther, one of which I can remember was a Temmincks Stint. Still I will hopefully have other chances.

Earlier in the week I got what I think is my best shot of a small critter. It is a Curculio Venosus, an Acorn Nut Weevil.

It is a tiny thing 3-5 mm long, truly stunned to find it and even more so with the resulting photo.

Well the weather has turned again and looks set to be shitty for the next few days so I guess that it is summer over for this year. Lets hope not.