Underwings, Grouse Wings and Foxgloves

Bird News: Ibsley Waterhouse martin 600+, swift 400+, peregrine 1. Ivy Lakehobby 1.

No time to post yesterday, so a double post tonight. It has been very quiet for birds but there have been a number of interesting insects. First of these was the capture yesterday of a lunar yellow underwing moth. This species has become very scarce in recent years and is now mainly found on the Brecklands of East Anglia. There are now three records from Blashford which indicates a local population. It is named for a black crescent mark in the yellow underwing, unfortunately they do not show their underwings when at rest.

lunar yellow underwing

I also came across a yellow and black bee, it is one of the Nomada bees which parasitize the nests of various species of solitary bees, I am working on the identity, but have not quite got there yet!

Nomada bee

Today saw slightly more in the way of birds. When I opened the Tern hide the wind was brisk and from the north-east, it was really quite cold and as a result there were lots of martins and swifts over Ibsley Water, I estimated very approximately 400 swifts and 600 house martins, but there were probably many more than this.

The moth trap did not contain any really notable moths today but there was a rather fine cranefly.

cranefly

There were also several caddisflies including several of a species known to anglers as the grouse wing.

grouse wing

It was generally a good day for insects and I got a few pictures. The first was of a large species of hoverfly which mimics a bumble bee, it is Criorhina floccosa.

Criorhina floccosa

I also finally got a picture of the soldierfly Odonomyia tigrina, or at least of one that was not being eaten by a spider.

Odontomyia tigrina

Some may remember a picture I posted last year of some amazing woolly looking larvae that were found beside the pond at The Centre on the leaves of a small alder plant. They proved to be of the alder sawfly and today I found an adult on the same plant, it is also a rather splendid insect.

alder sawfly

The reserve was very quiet today and I took the opportunity to do various odd jobs, including moving the “Rivercam” so that it is once again “Compostcam”. Although when I went to check the positioning was right by looking at the big screen int he lobby it was more like “Mousecam”.

“Mousecam”

I will end with a shot of a flower, just for a change, the foxgloves are looking very good just now so here is one.

foxglove

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