The past few nights in Northiam have been cold, but despite this there are still insects on the move during the day. Yesterday a wren and a chiffchaff were competing for them around our pond. There was an obvious swarm of midges above the water. I don’t know if they were feeding on these or not - the chiffchaff seemed to be taking food from a dead marsh cinquefoil stem, which the wren frequented too but it also darted down to the water’s edge several times to capture aquatic creatures. One looked like a damselfly larva (large red damselflies are common here) but it was difficult to tell for certain through the binoculars.
Today’s unseasonal invertebrate was a small foraging worker of either the buff tailed or white tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris or lucorum) on our neighbours Erica’s. It had full pollen sacs so there is obviously an active nest in the area.
In the pond common frogs remain the most abundant amphibian. I have still only seen a single male smooth newt in the water throughout the past month, although I was told a great crested newt was observed in one of the ponds at Great Dixter at the weekend.
PS. Two nights later the migration of newts into the pond has picked up with at least three male smooth newts and one female in the pond this evening. Spring is coming!