It’s warming up, honest. There are more flowers, insects and butterflies around and little fluffy ducklings and goslings. Here’s a few photos from down by the river in and around Denso Marston Nature Reserve.
As usual you should be able to tap on an image to see it larger in its gallery carousel.
One of the noticeable things on my latest visit to DMNR was that the trees that I first spotted the Alder Leaf Beetles on now have few of them. They can be spotted dotted around man plants but they were in groups on the Alder and making lots of holes in the leaves. I have yet to see many Ladybirds, with this one it was not until I had a look at the photo later that I noticed what looks like an Aphid in front of the Ladybird, a nice little snack.
I hadn’t realised before that the mouth of a Weevil is on the end of its “snout”. This one was eating along the edge of the leaf. It is a Liophloeus tessulatus I think.
Again Shield Bugs and Hoverflies were spotted. The Bee Hoverfly is showing its “at rest” proboscis. In my previous post I had a photo of one feeding on a Dandelion and its tongue was sinking well down into the flower.
Several varieties of Bees were around. Tawny (?) Mining Bee (Andrena fulva), Honey Bee, Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum) and White Tailed Bumblebee. Some of them were quite big and so I guess I saw both Bombus lucorum and Bombus terrestris.
Several butterflies were around while it was warm. Along patches of Dandelions was a good place to spot them. Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and Large White were around but the most numerous were the Orange-tips. As they were flying around any that were on flowers would fly up and they would flit around together for a few seconds before going their separate ways but one pair spent a few minutes flying around and then settled on a Dandelion clock to mate. Rather surprisingly the clock did not lose all its seeds as the pair were flying around and settling on it.
Bluebells were showing nicely; I think some, if not all are Spanish Bluebells, I need to remember to ask Steve, the Warden.
Of the birds – noisy Wrens and Robins are still singing loudly. I also heard quite a few Blackcap singing. I managed to spot a couple but they were tucked away so no photos. Hopefully I will have better luck next time. A pair of Gadwall were on the river again. This time they were mating, with the female spending most of the time completely submerged. The Mallard had the march on the Gadwall and was swimming along with several ducklings. The cute ones were the Canada Goose goslings though. I didn’t go round by the pond, I stopped before the bridge and watched them for a while. When anything spooked them the adults spread their wings and the goslings ran towards them. A couple of times they ran towards the water but stopped quite soon. Only one jumped into the water and I was surprised at how quickly it got out again. The edge was steep and several times higher than the little chick.
Talking about being spooked. This Crow in a tree along the path to the Hirst Mill footbridge looked spooky with the white of its nictitating membrane over both eyes.
This last lot of photos round off the post with some other things that I pointed my camera at. Fungi are not easy to identify but I think the first one is Brittle Cinder Fungus (Kretzschmaria deusta). There are several varieties of Bracket Fungus and I think the larger on might also be called Artists Fungus because you can draw on the underside of it with a stick. The river was quite low and several bike and car wheels were showing. I don’t know if the rest of the car is still attached.
The reserve has quite a few large logs that are slowly rotting down and providing food shelter for all sorts of animals. One of them looks as though some decent sized animal has had a go at digging into it.
Further up river from the reserve it was a bit disappointing to see a carved stone that was obviously meant to be around a grave in Charlestown Cemetery.
Down river from the reserve is where I saw the rabbits and the horses.
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