Archive for July 16th, 2009

16th July 2009, Thursday

Labyrinth Spider

While out on the weekly butterfly/dragonfly transect today, I came across several Labyrinth Spider (Agelena labyrinthica) webs in gorse bushes near Castle Water Hide, the first records of this species from the reserve. The adults are superb beasts, but not for the faint hearted, being relatively large (females up to abut 15mm), aggressive, and disturbingly fast (even for a dedicated arachnophile like me!). Unfortunately I had left my camera in the landrover, so I have had to lift the image below from the internet!

Labyrinth Spider
(image used under Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike License, details here)

16th July 2009, Thursday

Ovipositing

Now is a good time to watch dragonflies at Castle Water a good selection of species can be seen around the pit margins, ditches and small ponds. The bench at the northern end of the main pit is a good place to watch the different styles of ovipositing by Black-tailed Skimmer and Emperor, Small Red-eyed Damselfly can also be seen from this location.

Emperor ovipositing

16th July 2009, Thursday

Waders

A good selection of waders were present on the new excavations at Castle Water this afternoon, a second pair of Little Ringed Plover with 3 chicks (pictured) headed the cast of 4 Ruff, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, Redshank with 2 chicks, 400 Lapwing and 7 Snipe. Six Garganey were also present.

One of three Little Ringed Plover chicks

16th July 2009, Thursday

Hatching time

It is getting late in the season for wader chicks to be hatching, but the Ringed Plover eggs in front of the Crittall Hide at Ternery Pool have started today. The pair was seen mating and making the nest scrape on 15th June and 4 eggs were seen on 25th June – 22 days ago. Today as the pair changed over a chick and 3 eggs could be seen, then the chick went for a stumbling walk around and started pecking at insects.

rp-hatch1

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16th July 2009, Thursday

Beach Reserve

A Stone-curlew was a nice surprise along Shore ridges at 5.30am, it was last seen in flight over the River Mouth heading towards Camber. Additional highlights included 100+ Sand Martin and a Little Ringed Plover in flight over Ternery Pool.