The ground is at long last starting to warm up, so if the weather is dry, the smaller creatures start to move around earlier in the day. The water also is warmer, which is encouraging the emergence of the dragonflies and damselflies. Today, with the weather sunny, there were blue damselflies everywhere, including banded demoiselle and…. the Norfolk hawker was emerging in their dozens from the Water Soldier on Hayling Pit. We thought it was early for them, but, no, the book says from early to mid-May onwards. It shows how the year seems to be moving on quickly. We also saw hairy dragonflies. Revisiting my blog from last year, we had also seen a 4-spot chaser by now. A few days of warmer dry weather and hopefully we will see them.
Butterflies were also in abundance, including the brown argus. It made me look to see how many species have been seen on the Pits. It is over 20 and increasing. Can you name them?
Some daytime moths are around and if you want to see an interesting phenomenon, walk along the path between the arable fields and the paddock. The spindle in the hedgerow is being decimated by the spindle ermine moth caterpillar in their strange webs. Interestingly, the Bird Cherry opposite the viewpoint is covered in a similar mesh of caterpillars, which will emerge in June as Bird Cherry Ermine moths. The cuckoos can often be seen eating them. It must be an irruption this year, as my spindle in the garden is being decimated.
Now, as we have these creatures in flight, it means there is food for hobbies and swifts and other birds. Both species have been seen in the last week mainly passing through.
The outcome of the tern rafts will again be interesting this year. At present, one raft is purely black headed gulls and the other 3 mixed.
I am always pleased to hear of your sightings and photos at our Paxton Pits Reserve. Send them to email@example.com .