I bypassed the lovely, sheltered path which runs along the west side of Abbey Mead lake. A favourite path in the past for several of us New Hythe devotees. It's a sun trap when the sun does shine and a magnet (usually) for dragonflies and damsels and butterflies, as well as an excellent place to stop for lunch. It's a good piece of habitat for birds too, I came across my first NH Spotted Flycatcher here a couple of years ago and it usually echoes to the song of Nightingales and Lesser Whitethroat in the Spring and I've seen Snipe here in the Winter. It's now to all intents and purposes a road. Carved through the habitat by the fishing club to reach the newly built swims which now adorn the reedbeds at regular intervals along the lakeside. The usual access points from the railway path have been barricaded with prickly hawthorn, presumably to keep the night fishermen safe from interlopers during the wee hours.
This isn't public land and the fishing club presumably have the right to fashion it to suit their needs, despite the lake itself (or at least the lake bed) being the subject of an SSSI. The fishermen are a decent bunch and a lot of them take a real interest in what i've seen when I stop for a chat, it's just a sad loss of another, albeit small piece, of relatively undisturbed habitat.
Enough said. Here are some pictures taken at New Hythe lakes and my back garden over the last few days.
Female Common Blue above and below.
Male Common Blue above and below.
Female Scorpion Fly above, male below.
Hover flies are tricky but i'm going for Syrphus ribesii above.
Common Blues damselflies above.
Above is a 22 spot Ladybird. And below............
........I think this may be an Eyed Ladybird. They sometimes don't show the rings around the spots which gives it the name. Either way I think the Aphid might be lunch.
*****Oops!! I got it wrong. As pointed out to me by Jan/Shy Songbird's Nature News and Greenie/Greenie in the Wild, the above ladybird is a Harlequin, not the Eyed variety as I stated. Many thanks to Jan and Greenie whose excellent blogs can be seen on my sidebar.*****
Above is our old friend Oedemera nobilis, aka Thick-legged or Fat-legged beetle. This is the male, the female doesn't sport the muscular thighs.
Common Spotted Orchid above.
My first (at last) Green Hairstreak butterfly of the year. Last year I recorded one in late March!
These last two pictures were taken in the back garden. I think the Shield Bug above is of the Bronze variety but as ever i'm happy to be corrected.
No doubt about the pair of slightly worn Peacocks below though. Not sure if this is a male and female but the top one is slightly bigger so could possibly be a female?