Monday, 17 June 2013


 Well the dismal Spring and early Summer continues, as does the lack of butterflies and dragonflies. At New Hythe this morning at least the damselflies were doing well. Common Blues, Blue-tailed and Azures rose up in their hundreds as I pushed my way through the ever increasing, tall tangle of bramble and nettles. But again just one dragonfly seen, a probable immature Black-tailed Skimmer which flew off weakly from almost under my feet.
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.

Above is a small fly which I haven't noticed before. I think it may be Platystoma seminationis.

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? 


Marc Heath said...

A very nice selection of shots. I'm enjoying doing the butterflies and dragonflies more than the birds at the moment, just want some SUN now!!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hi!!!.. great pictures and macro.. Congrats and greetings..

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Plenty to chew over on that post .
More Bittern habitat lost at NH , but as you say it's their lake .
Would agree with your S.ribesii .
Not so happy with Eyed Ladybird , general deep colour and mask say Harlequin to me .
Shieldbug could well be Bronze , but lacks black/white edging .
Re. the Peacocks , agree female in front , larger size and short/fat abdomen compared to long/thin abdomen of male .
All just my opinion as usual .

Phil said...

Thanks Greenie. Your opinion is always valued!

Warren Baker said...

Each little bit of habitat destroyed is another nail in the coffin of our already under pressure wildlife Phil.

I'm very envious of that Green Hairstreak anyway!

Jason K said...

A cracking selection of inverts there Phil! There are hardly any Common Blues on the wing up here at the mo

ShySongbird said...

Lots of interest in this post Phil and lovely photos. I must admit I looked at your ladybird and thought Harlequin not that I'm any sort of expert! Looking up Eyed Ladybird I see its habitat is needled conifer trees, normally pines.

Such a shame about the path, always sad to see the loss of habitat however small. Love the butterfly photos and I'm very envious of your Green Hairstreak, I can never find them here! Lovely to see the orchid too.