Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Early birds and insects

Sunday dawned bright and... [struggles for the correct descriptor]... [what was that unfamiliar sensation?]... oh yeah, warm! The temptation to be up and out was too much to resist so, probably earlier than was advisable for finding Odonata, I park the car by Inganess Bay and slung some optics around my neck.

The previous night had seen quite a bit of rain, which left the path very squelchy underfoot and the Wideford Burn with an obvious flood line, high up its banks. On seeing these signs, a few worries surfaced that I may have called the sojourn wrongly, but calm was restored when it became apparent that there was plenty of insect life on the wing.

As I walked upstream alongside the burn, Sedge Warblers were whistling and scratching their jazzy songs. Reed Buntings were also calling, though I suspect that when it comes to song, the Reedies are still in the Primary 1 Music class. Sand Martins and Swallows flew overhead, whilst several other species perched conveniently close to the path, in the early sunlight.

Meadow Pipit

Redpoll sp. (male)

Redpoll sp. (female)
Once over the main road and into the lightly wooded portion of the valley, more insects could be seen, basking in the warmth offered by the shelter of some trees. It still wasn't 'core hours' for odes, but a few Large Red Damselflies fluttered amongst the vegetation, along with butterflies, hoverflies, and a few day-flying moths.

In fact, I was well and truly distracted from Operation Odo by the sheer amount of other things to see.

I didn't have a clue what I was looking at, but it was clear that insects were pedalling furiously through their life cycles. Later, the knowledgeable folk of the local Insect page on Facebook were able to put names to the images: pupa of the Magpie moth (TG); a day-flying moth Micropterix aureatella (NC); eggs of the beetle Gastrophya viridula (AG); caterpillar of the Garden Tiger moth (TG); and, a fly Leucozona lucorum (AF). Thanks, guys!

I was on firmer ground with the damselflies, quite literally, as the path is intermittently boardwalked at this point.

A female Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans

A pair of Large Red Damselflies Pyrrhosoma nymphula in tandem
It was a grand start to the day.

1 comment:

Spadger said...

Indeed a grand day out!