6 Jun 14

Priorslee Lake: 10:45am – 12:05pm

17.0°C > 18.5°C. medium high cloud and hazy sun: Force 3 SE wind; good visibility

(65th visit of the year)

Unable to make an early visit but decided on a visit during the middle of the day to try and add some butterfly species to the site year list – and failed to see a single butterfly. Not sure why – it was certainly warm-enough (>10°C) and there was hazy if not direct sun. There was a brisk SE wind but that did not deter the 100s of damselflies.

Nothing much of note with the sailing boats probably deterring anything other than the residents.

A few insects of note
Added Blue-tailed Damselfly to my site year-list
Added the moth Common Nettle-tap (Anthophila fabriciana) to my site year-list
Several Red-and-Black Froghoppers (Cercopis vulnerata)
A female Cheilosia pagana

4 +3 (2 broods) Great Crested Grebes
2 Cormorants
2 + 2 Swans
4 (2) + 8 (1 brood) Mallard
2 Moorhens
25 + 12 (4 broods) Coots
1 Swallow

A so-called mating-wheel of Common Blue Damselflies.

This looks like a bumble bee sp. about to leave the Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus acris). Oddly though there is no sign of pollen-sacs or pollen sticking elsewhere to the body so perhaps it is a parasitic Cuckoo-Bee. Identification of bees is a nightmare with size and markings both variable.

This is the underside of a Silver-ground Carpet. Note the feathered antennae indicating this is a male. The antenna are used for detecting the pheromones given off by the females and the hairier they are the more sensitive they are. Some species can detect females at distances of several kilometres. One wonders what the many and varied artificial smells man manufacturers and uses does to this mechanism.

This a Red-and-Black Froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata) [NB: the generic name is often also (mis?) quoted as Cercopsis]. And, yes they can be orange rather than red. And are also known as Black-and-red froghopper – depends on your perspective I suppose.

and the other end.

This beetle looks to be a Leistus sp. One very common species is Leistus ferrugineus but that has red legs as well as a brownish / orange body and this clearly has black legs. So ...

A juvenile Long-tailed Tit – until it moults in July / August it will show an all-dark head.

Another view showing some still-growing feathers. The red eye-ring seems to be more prominent at this age.

This a Common Nettle-tap (Anthophila fabriciana) moth. Common on nettles and easily found in daytime.

A male Blue-tailed Damselfly. More slender than many other damselflies. While the Common Blue Damselfly has a blue tail it has some blue on the other body segments. A Blue-tailed Damselfly can often be recognised in flight because it is one of the few species where the wings beat slowly-enough to make it look like a helicopter.

 A small hoverfly: not much to go on here, but

From the side some body-markings can be ascertained. I have had this identified for me and it is a female Cheilosia pagana. I seems the antenna of females are diagnostic. A new species for my growing list of hoverflies, but a long way to go ..
I know I did this yesterday but an upgrade – a male Red-eyed Damselfly.

(Ed Wilson)