Saturday, 31 July 2010

Come Dine With Me... Hawker Style

Despite the not so perfect weather at Tophill Low NR, we still managed to find some numbers of dragonflies today, Saturday. This Southern Hawker was observed catching a Bombus spp and then landed to devour it at leisure over 20 minutes. Despite finding the most awkward place to hang up for lunch, I was able to get some pictures...

The best...

This could be a big meal!

Starting to feel full...

... but just a little more

On finishing it flew away in search of another feed. Makes you wonder just how much they actually eat each day.

The count was rather low this week: - Common Blue Damselfly, very few Azure Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly. 5 Emerald Damselfly, 10 Southern Hawker, 7 Migrant Hawker, 3 Black-tailed Skimmer, 39 Common Darter (many newly emerged and fresh, and some making maiden flights) and 8 Ruddy Darter.

Mothwise, it was rather unspectacular. The variety of species, and numbers trapped, was down on earlier in the month when it was much warmer. However, there are always new macros to see for the year. Highlights today included the first Lesser Swallow Prominents of the year and a free-flying Red Underwing was found at the southern end of the site, another first for the year.

Lesser Swallow Prominent

One of the other smart looking posers was this Pale Prominent.

Now for the scientific name part! There appears to be a new addition for the site list with Acrobasis consociella being trapped.

This photo from Doug Fairweather - and all credit for the identification.

One of the more common ones we encounter, and one of the more beautiful is Agapeta zoegana

Meanwhile, one that does have an English name is Bird-Cherry Ermine... this one posed well.

Other than that, one or two Hummingbird Hawkmoths were encountered, the large increase in hoverflies saw us see some potentially interesting ones (depends on the photos if we can go further with them), a Common Sandpiper made up the bird interest and the butterflies are more noticeable in the fact they are lacking in number rather than being present.

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