Sunday, 24 May 2015

Still waiting for a dragon.

It's may the 24th and I'm still waiting to photograph my first dragonfly of the year and truly envious of those that have already done so. I've seen two, probably 4 spotted Chasers, in flight but none at rest.
Damselflies have not been so scarce, I've seen a lot of the common ones. Blue tail, Common Blue, Azure, Red Eyed, Beautiful Demoiselle and Banded Demoiselle.

This is a female Red eyed.

I've seen some nice butterflies too, Painted Lady, Pearl Bordered and Wood White being amongst the best.

I've been up to the Elan Valley to do birds and I have to say I was mildly disappointed with the numbers. I saw all the usual suspects, including the Red Kite nesting again in their usual spot. but numbers were very low.

The Jay and the Whinchat were nice bonus birds though.


Back nearer to Home I've had two firsts this month, The first was an Orange Ladybird, the second a fungi, Helvella lacunosa, or Elfin saddle as it's more commonly known. It's only the second recorded find where I found it, in Herefordshire. so I'm quite chuffed with that. The orange Ladybird came as a shock because initially I thought it was a cream spot, but after a bit of research I discovered that the cream spot always has 7 spots on each wing cover, this definitely has eight.

The little critters have kept coming with a few nice ones amongst them. The first are a mating pair of Woundwort Shield Bugs, although Collins Complete guide to British Insects has them down as Bronze Shield bugs, which they look more like. The second is a cardinal beetle, Pyrochroa Serraticornis, the third is the caterpillar of the Drinker moth, and finally a Mayfly, Ephemera Danica.


The swans on my local pond have brought 7 new cygnets into the world and my hasn't dad been a grumpy thing for the last few weeks prior to them hatching? He has been chasing everything around the pond, he has been witnessed killing at least one Duckling and unbelievably swallowing it whole. Mind you he's not been the only one at it, another friend of mine witnessed a Mallard drake kill a duckling too. Presumably wanting to breed with the female himself. The death rate of Duck and Moorhen chicks on the pond is currently 100% there have been 10 ducklings seen on the pond and 4 Moorhen chicks, not a one has survived. I have said before that the Pike are believed to have killed a few and having seen numerous pike in the margins and shallow water spawning over the last 3-4 weeks some of them were of a size that makes that believable. Here's a shot from another water that I got this week of a young pike. Perfectly formed and yet only 3 inches in length.

So beautiful at this size.

Now, I need help. Can any of you help me out with identifying this strange caterpillar. I've not sent it to Ispot yet as I wanted to add it to this post. It seems to have camouflaged itself with twigs. Works perfectly, if I hadn't seen it moving whilst photographing something else I'd have passed it by.

Weird thing, not sure if it's a butterfly or moth, could be a sawfly or something similar. Any how, that's me finished for today, I've put lots of stuff on Smugmug over the last couple of weeks so if you haven't had a look for a while, go treat yourselves.