Archive for May 19th, 2012

19th May 2012, Saturday

Ooh, it’s the ladies!

With the good weather today I decided to have a look around the Beach Reserve for some spring spiders. I started with a search near Wader Pool hide for more of the rare jumping spider Pellenes tripunctatus and was rewarded with a total of five individuals, including two females, the first I have found here. While instantly recognisable they are not as brightly coloured as the males, with largely brown instead of black ground colour and lacking the red markings around the eyes. So far all the individuals I have found of this species have been in the same place so I think over the coming weeks I will have to search other suitable areas of the reserve to see if it is more widespread here.
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Pellenes tripunctatus female

19th May 2012, Saturday

Dragons and damsels

Still not exactly warm, but out of the wind in the sheltered scrubby areas near the viewpoint a good selection of damselflies had gathered. At least 50+ Variable Damselfly, 100+ Blue-tailed  Damselfly, 20+ Red-eyed Damselfy and 30+ Azure Damselfly were enjoying the warmth. Hairy Dragonfly and Downy Emerald were also patrolling the nearby bramble bushes. As the season progresses I keep expecting to find a bigger emergence of Hairy Dragonfly at Castle Water, so far I have only collected twenty exuvia and would expect a lot more by now if recent years are anything to go by. A selection of picture from this morning are below.

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One of two male Hairy Dragonfly at stage 2 of emergence near the viewpoint this morning.

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19th May 2012, Saturday

Castle Water

Four Hobby gave a spectacular aerial display hawking insects around the viewpoint area this morning, prey items seemed to be mainly St Mark’s-flies although a Downy Emerald and a few damselflies were also on the menu. In between flights the birds gave great close views while roosting. A selection of pictures are below. (click on read the rest of this entry)

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