As I arrived at Blashford this morning I was greeted by a vole running around by the gate. Later on I spotted another vole disappearing down this hole in the meadow by Ivy North Hide.
The meadow is slowly filling with flowers, including these beautiful Oxeye daisies.
The dock leaves are now almost completely shredded and the other stages of the green dock beetle’s life cycle can now be seen as the feast continues.
Next Saturday Jim will be running a family event celebrating the humble stinging nettle. So just to wet your appetite in anticipation of the event I thought I would spend a moment taking a closer look into the wonderful wildlife filled world of the stinging nettle.
Underneath the leaves there are lots of gloops of cuckoo spit – home to the froghopper nymph.
I found this adult froghopper too!
As it was such a gloomy day the damselflies were lying low and attempting to stay on the opposite sides of the nettle leaves and stems to me. On the same leaf as this one there was a lacewing larvae and an aphid.
I was on the look out for caterpillars as I know nettles are an important food source for a whole variety of species. This pile of poo was a bit of a give away…..
…..to this magnificent beast!
I haven’t been able to find out which caterpillar this is so if anyone knows please share!
There were a whole array of ladybirds including this 7 spot ladybird.
And a no spot ladybird!
I caught a pair of leatherbugs sharing an intimate moment.
Finally I stumbled across this gruesome but incredible scene. These two scorpionflies were feasting on a damselfly.
They had pulled its head off and were sucking out its insides!
The scorpionflies are named after the swelling on the tail and the way the male holds his tail which looks just like a scorpion. Never fear though as they are unable to sting although they will pretend to if provoked!
There was a lapwing family spotted outside the Tern Hide today, 3 chicks with their parents. A little ringed plover was also seen from the hide before being chased away by the protective parents.