Sunday, 21 July 2013

Bug fest at Tophill Low Summer of Wildlife Event

A cloudy, mild respite from the hot weather of the last couple of weeks, we spend the day at Tophill Low. As we arrive, we join @esticadinho13 at the moth trap, where he shows us the range of moths captured overnight. The kids delight on holding various moths, which are mostly very obliging, and sit still while held.
  Then we walk south towards South Marsh, find a picnic spot by East Pond for lunch. There are lots of Butterflies by the verges, especially Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Skipper and a few Six Spot Burnets. After a quick stop by South Marsh, where we manage to see two Marsh Harriers dropping in the nest, we turn round and head towards D woods, where we join the Yorkshire Watch group for some pond dipping.
All moths below from the moth event, for more on moths at Tophill Low visit Martin Hodges site.
A couple of highlights are a Little Egret flying over D res and two common shrews found by my son.
Elephant Hawkmoth
 Coxcomb Prominent
Swallow Prominent Moth ?
Garden Tiger
Peach Blossom
Buff Footman Eilema depressa
Garden Tiger, Arctia caja
Female Ruddy Darter, pausing briefly on an information panel
Female Emerald Damselfly
Male Blue Tailed Damselfly
Lots of Ringlets and Small Skippers gave me this rare chance for both species on the same shot.
Large Skipper on creeping thistle
Meadow Brown
Small Skipper, they often sit on flowers with fore and hindwings at different angles
Six Spot Burnet
Six spot burnet
Another Small Skipper on Knapweed
A Cucumber spider Araniella sp. with captured soldier beetle, one of my favourite photos of the day. 
A Zelotes sp. a beautiful glossy all black spider., a first for me.
On the grassy verges by South Pond there were plenty of nursery webs of the nursery web spider, Pisaura mirabilis, but we didn't find any adults
Mating Soldier Beetles, lots about.

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