Denso Marston Nature Reserve is only a few minutes down the road and is quite pleasant to walk around so, guess what, I have been a couple more times.
As usual you can tap on an image to see it in its gallery carousel, though some of the galleries are small.
The Alder Leaf Beetles, that were supposedly extinct in the UK 20 years ago, are spreading. Single beetles can be spotted in a much wider area that the group of Field Maples that I first noticed them on. Again I spotted one with a dint in its wing casing. I guess this means it has been pecked at by an insect eating bird. Mating beetles suggests that the reserve will continue with a population of them.
I must admit to having no confidence in the IDs that I give to a lot of the things I see. The more I find out the more I realise I know nothing. I am still hoping I am right with the ID of the Alder Leaf Beetle as long as extinction isn’t getting in the way of identification. Are these Green Dock Beetles? There’s plenty of Dock plants around for it and one of the alternatives is the Tansy Beetle that requires the Tansy plant which I have not seen on the reserve. Initially I thought that an Alder Leaf Beetle was entwined with them but the female’s body can be exposed and a blue covering exposed. This can be visible during mating and egg laying.
The two Ladybirds are Ladybirds but I realise that to some that is even worse than identifying something as, say, a dog; there are hundreds of varieties. I think they are both Harlequin Ladybirds and not native Ladybirds.
I am confident with the ID of the Common Green Shield Bug. The shape and colour is unmistakable.
Continuing with insects, it has been very noticeable how, over the last week or so, the number of flying insects has increased tremendously. Various flies, hoverflies, wasps and bees were around. I have watched Bee Hoverflies in the past and been surprised at them flying around with their tongues stuck out in front of them, but I didn’t realise that it got even longer when feeding. If that is its tongue down into the Dandelion then it is LONG.
Though these butterflies look bigger than the previous insects I don’t think they are heavier than the Bumble Bees. The flower heads sag as a Bumblebee lands on it but with the Orange-tip butterfly they hardly move. It was great to get photos of a settled Brimstone Butterfly usually they are just flying off into the distance, except for the time at Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits.
I seem to be keeping things separate in this post so lets move on to plants that are showing themselves. There are a few isolated clumps of Bluebells. I was thinking they are a little bit early but driving up Hollins Hill the other day there was a definite cloud of blue developing in the woods on the left. Jack-by-the-Hedge (Garlic Mustard, Alliaria petiolata) , Cowslip, Marsh Marigold and Golden Saxifrage are putting in a good show. Wild Garlic, and Lords and Ladies are showing promise.
The last lot of photos are all of warm blooded animals except for the last two. The Robins are both adults and looked as though they were trying to feed each other. The Kingfisher in flight is probably the clearest I have of one flying and with this one it is, of course, flying away from me.
The Capillary Thread Moss is still growing nicely on the fence by the path to the reserve.
I have taken a couple of photos of the Wrose transmitters from the top of the path. I will try and remember to do that with each visit. It might be interesting to see how visibility varies.
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