Sunday, 23 July 2017

Sunday July 23

After some torrential rain over the last few days, we arrived to grey skies and a few showers. Coats and wellies were donned, and inevitably the weather proceeded to warm up over the course of the morning, with blazing sunshine by mid-day.

The hope was that there might be some more water in the flash pools and main pool resulting in some new and exciting wader turning up. Well one out of two isn't bad, the flashes now both contain water.

There were some encouraging signs, such as five Green Sandpipers, and an adult Little Ringed Plover. We flushed an adult Little Egret from the main pool, while the hedgerow margins hosted plenty of young Common and Lesser Whitethroats.

Little Egret
As the morning warmed up we saw more and more butterflies and dragonflies, but nothing especially unusual.

Painted Lady
Small Red-eyed Damselfly
A coupled pair of Common Darters
Veering away from familiar insect groups I also spotted an impressive hoverfly, Volucella inanis, which mimics Hornet in order to parasitise its grubs, and a common grasshopper, the Meadow Lesser Marsh Grasshopper.

Volucella inanis
Lesser Marsh Grasshopper
Finally, I sort of saw a long overdue first for Morton Bagot, as Dave, walking a few paces ahead of me, suddenly gave a yelp and leapt backwards. He had almost stepped on a Grass Snake. I just about witnessed it slithering rapidly into the long grass where it disappeared.

PS: Thanks to Bjorn Bechmann for correcting my Grasshopper identification on records.

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