Monday, 16 May 2011

Good stuff despite the weather

As ever it was Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire on Saturday for a scout around to see what we could find.

The year’s first Buff Ermine the moth trap highlight, but with cool nights nothing much could really have been expected.

However, keeping up our good run of form, though we left it late in the day, this Pammene regiana found by Doug Fairweather was a new addition to the site list.

With the cloudy skies and occasional heavy showers, it wasn’t a great day for Odonata but we still managed the year’s first Broad-bodied Chaser (an immature male) for the site and the first Hairy Dragonfly since April 24th.

A hiding Hairy Dragonfly

Now this got me thinking. Why hasn’t there been a Hairy record at Tophill Low since then? Despite several visits in good conditions the species hasn’t been recorded. Could it in fact not have actually colonised the site and the ones seen, not only this year but before, are individuals that have wandered from nearby Leven Canal, where the species occurs in the highest population density so far noted in VC61? There is something not quite right here as the numbers from other sites, combined with the three week gap in records at Tophill, would suggest that if Hairy had colonised then they shouldn’t be so difficult to find. I don’t think this is a controversial theory... but then others might decide to take it that way!

The rest of the count, before the final heavy shower ended proceedings, turned up 44 Large Red Damselflies, 1159 Azure Damselflies, 30 Blue-tailed Damselflies, and 5 Four-spotted Chasers, including this emergent.

Birding wise, it was rather dull! A Common Buzzard and a cream crown Marsh Harrier the highlights. Still awaiting a WNR Temminck’s Stint.

One that everyone can spot – it is on a sycamore on the entrance road on the north side of O wood, is this Dryad’s Saddle.

As Spring continues, more and more hoverflies are out. This Anasimyia lineata isn’t a new one for the site but posed quite nicely.

While this Hawthorn Shieldbug (above) was in suitable habitat and the Agapanthia villosoviridescens numbers totalled 5 across the site… I wonder if a new record count can be set this year???

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