After the autumnal weather of last weekend, it has been interesting to note the wader build up on the pager as birds start to move south. Unsurprisingly, Watton Nature Reserve near Tophill Low held 3 Green Sandpipers on Saturday, but a flock of post-breeding/non-breeding Lapwing and Redshank on South Marsh East at Tophill Low are signs that the season is changing. We must admit to not even bothering to look for residing Red-crested Pochard! Once was quite enough!!! Watching the terns is more fun. We did have a brief look for the Little Gulls, but we failed to see any.
The breeding season goes on though and rather nice, if somewhat unexpected, was this rather charming Lapwing chick on North Marsh. No doubt the remaining survivor of a brood raised in a place for reasons known only to its parents. However, if this one fledges then it was a good place to breed.
On the cute looking creature front... this Hedgehog was more than obliging for the camera!
Some of the orchids are now in full flower. Many of the Bee Orchids from last weekend are out but this Common Spotted Orchid (no doubt with some hybrid in its genes) was the best spike I could find to photograph.
A single Ruptela maculata (Black and Yellow Longhorn Beetle) and 3 Leptura quadrifasciata (Four-banded Longhorn Beetle) were the first records of the season. Also, 2 Agapanthia villosoviridescens (Golden-Bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle) were also found, the first time we have found all 3 species on the same day – and all on path side flowers! The best of the pictures ordered as listed above.
As appears to be the case wherever we go, there appears to be a lack of butterflies. Plenty of species, albeit in small numbers. Perhaps the single Marbled White we encountered was rather typical for the date, the rest being 1 Comma, 3 Red Admiral, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Green-veined White, 4 Common Blue, 1 Small White, 25+ Large Skipper, 10 Speckled Wood, 10 Ringlet and 53 Meadow Brown.
Four moth traps were set overnight. The best of the catch was a male Ghost Moth, the first 4 Blackneck of the campaign, a Drinker, several Light Emerald and a Buff Tip.
This Thistle Ermine was found posing at the south end of the site, posing naturally compared to sitting on an eggbox!
Despite losing the sun at times during the day, the dragonfly count wasn’t so bad with Large-Red Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, 10+ Red-eyed Damselfly, 7 Emerald Damselfly, 1 Brown Hawker, 38 Four-spotted Chaser, 1 Broad-bodied Chaser, 26 Black-tailed Skimmer, 14 Common Darter and 1 Ruddy Darter (pictured) filling the notebook.