Today there were plenty of butterflies around, 7 species. We spotted 6 Small Tortoiseshells, Ringlets were everywhere, one Gatekeeper, one Speckled Wood, one Meadow Brown, 2 Large Skippers, a small White, a Silver Y and another moth.
Male Large Skipper
The kids did a bit of pond dipping and got many newt larvae, backswimmers and a couple of tiny sticklebacks. By the pond, damselflies were plentiful, especially the Blue-tailed Damsefly, with several pairs mating. There were also many courting Poecilobothrus nobilitatus flies.
Poecilobothrus nobilitatus males
Snail-killing Fly Coremacera marginata. Roger identified it for us and explained their unusual life cycle. The flies lay their eggs on snails, and if the larvae finishes eating the snail before it is quite fully develop it emerges and finds another snail.
Helen examines an azure damselfly
Helophilus hoverfly by the pond
Mating Blue-tailed Damseflies
Black Clock, possibly Pterostichus niger
Brachipteran female mirid bug Leptoterna dolabrata, thank you to Wildlife Ranger from iSpot for ID.
With so much bug life about, it was easy not to pay much attention to birds, but we heard plenty of Linnets and Bullfinches flying overhead, had wonderful views of a female Kestrel hunting and were serenaded by several Blackcaps.
Hovering kestrelLocation map
There are two entrances to the reserve, one through Frome Road and the other through East Carr Road. There are car parks by both of them. The reserve can also be reached by bus.
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