Friday, 13 June 2014


 I paid a visit to Quarry Wood reserve on thursday morning. It's only a 10-15 minute walk up the road from me but I still struggle to find the time for regular visits lately.
I was hoping to find some dragonflies given the warm weather of late but I think I may be a bit early for this woodland site as I failed to find a single one. There was no sign of dragonfly exuviae on the reed stems in the small pond either. I did find some damselflies though, including Banded Demoiselles and a surprise Beautiful Demoiselle, above and below.

 I'm not sure how common the Beautiful Demoiselles are here, I don't recall seeing any last year but i'm sure they must be a regular sight.

 Butterflies were at a premium too, as they seem to be in general at the moment, certainly at New Hythe and in my garden in West Farleigh. I saw several Speckled Woods, a couple of faded Small Tortoiseshells and lots of Meadow Browns, above.

 But the star of the show for me was this Large Skipper, above and below, my first of the year, who fed earnestly in a sunny glade and allowed me to get a few pictures. I snapped away happily in the sun for quite a few minutes, accompanied sometimes by the calls of a couple of Buzzards who wheeled lazily overhead above the treetops.

I spent the next half an hour or more along this same sunny, bramble and nettle lined track looking for other creatures of interest. These are some of them. I apologise in advance for probable mistaken identity!
Above is Volucella Pellucens I believe. A hoverfly sometimes referred to as Pellucid hoverfly. Quite common in wooded areas especially and has a liking for bramble blossom apparently.

Above is my old friend the Scorpion Fly. Completely harmless. Scavengers with attitude.

Next up is a Robber fly I think. The nearest i've found is Neoitamus Cyanurus but it's a shot in the dark. Handsome beast either way!

Above is a Cardinal Beetle, the red headed variety. Always nice to see, they stand out so nicely on the bright green foliage.

This is a ladybird larva. Not sure which species but they eat aphids and are therefore good to find in the garden.

Various names for the smart little beetle above. Oedemera Nobilis is the scientific name but Thick-kneed beetle, Fat-legged beetle, Swollen-thighed beetle, or even Bonking beetle are all used! This is a male, the females have less shapely thighs.

And finally a lacewing, I believe there are 14 different species of green lacewings in the UK. That small number doesn't make it any easier to ID. I'll try a longshot on Dichochrysa prasina, it won't be the first time i've got things wrong.
After leaving the reserve to walk home I glanced skywards just in time to watch a Raven circling above me before heading west towards the river. This is only my second sighting of Ravens in Kent. I was really pleased to see it but couldn't help thinking what a great 'from the garden' tick it would have been if i'd been at home at the time!


Alan Pavey said...

Lots of good insects nearby Phil, great stuff,

Wilma said...

Great selection of insects. I quite like the robber fly and the shapely-thighed male Oedemera Nobilis!

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Firstly , nice one with the Raven sighting .
Wouldn't argue with your hoverfly ID , and would say your ladybird larvae is 7-spot .
The Robberfly and the Lacewing are both minefields to attempt a positive ID . Personally I say Asilidae sp. for the first but Emadidae and Stilletto Flies are very similar , and Green Lacewing for the second .
That is not saying that your ID isn't correct .
Interesting sighting N.London / Herts yesterday , 18 Red Kite and 3 C.Buzzard feeding over field being cut for silage .

Karen said...

Beautiful photos of some lovely insects. Kx

Ken. said...

That's a really nice walk you had, plenty of good insects you photographed.Definately a nice reserve to have on your doorstep.
Well done with the Raven.I am sure it will be on your home list in the not to distant future

Rodney Compton said...

lovely photography