Today I decided to take advantage of the rare bit of warm weather and pay a long overdue visit to the patch to check out which invertebrates were around.
I started off by walking across the Gallops Field which at this time was left fallow. Unfortunately it has been mown since and I dread to think what the impact has been on the nesting Skylarks there!
The gallops was fairly productive with 3 Small Copper butterflies and a ♀/imm. Black-tailed Skimmer dragonfly noted. The later species was most likely from the nearby, privately owned, Stanklyn Pool. There had also been an emergence of Garden Chafer beetles which were seemingly everywhere!
Next stop was the set-aside in the Pylon Field. Here the Oxeye Daisies were in full bloom and looking rather resplendent. Small numbers of the Greater Knapweed were just coming into bloom. As always, this wildflower rich strip of vegetation was a haven for invertebrates with the following day-flying moths recorded: 2 Burnet Companion, 1 Cinnabar, 3 Silver Y and 5 Timothy Tortrix. A Large White butterfly was seen feeding on the Oxeye Daisies.
I then decided to walk down to Captains Pool and along the footpath leading there I noted a Tree Bumblebee feeding on the Cow Parsley flowers. On the pool itself the 2 juvenile Great Crested Grebes are developing well and looking in fine fettle. At the edge of the pool, small numbers of Azure damselfly were present and along the dam an ♀ Blackcap was seen occasionally flycatching and a single Cinnabar moth was also noted. Another Tree Bumblebee was noted feeding on the flowers of Comfrey along the dam.
From the dam I headed over to Tony's Café for some refreshments before me and the old chuffer headed over to Butts Lane to check the set-aside. Here we noted a number of day-flying moths including 2 Cinnabar, 1 Mother Shipton, 1 Small Yellow Underwing, 4 Silver Y, 3 Timothy Tortrix and a Yellow Shell.
The find of the day was made by Tony when he picked up on a fresh looking Brown Argus butterfly feeding on the flowers of White Clover near the drainage pond. This is the first sighting of this species on the patch for 2013 so it was great to see that they are still present.
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)
Garden Chafers (Phyllopertha horticola)
Burnet Companion (Euclidia glyphica)
Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae)
Timothy Tortrix (Aphelia paleana)
Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)
Great Crested Grebe - adult and juvenile