Monday, 6 July 2015

Summer at Tophill Low

After the very tough challenge of not running over any bunnies in the drive to Tophill, which I passed by driving very slowly, I was rewarded with my best views of hares ever. I spotted a couple in a field ahead by a free range chicken farm, and stopped in a gap in the hedge just by the hares. They carried on with their business and paid no attention to the car.
 The morning was sunny and mild and I headed to the south side of the reserve. From the hide of one of the lagoons I watched a Kingfisher. Another flew past and the first one flew off chasing it.
 By the main road I saw my first Gatekeeper of the year, still very fresh.
This was a new hoverfly for me, of the genus Parhelophilus , feeding on hogweed
Later, on the banks by O reservoir I saw a clump of bee orchids on their peak
 This female Twin-lobed Deerfly, Chrysops relictus, decided not to go for me, sunbathing on the fence was preferable.
 There were plenty of damselflies about, mainly Common Blue, with several mating pairs. The sheltered path to the twin hides was great for insects. From one of the twin hides, I heard my first East Yorkshire Cetti's Warbler sing half a song. A Hornet flew past the hide at the same time.

A male Scorpion fly, Panorpa sp.
A Little Ringed Plover
Large Skipper
Small Skipper
Large White
Another new hoverfly for me, Anasimya lineata
A large click beetle, possibly Hemicrepidius hirtus, thanks to Barry warrington for the ID
Black-tailed skimmer, very skittish, would fly away if I approached to less than 5 m. I saw 4 males and several females, mainly by the path of O reservoir and on the way to Watton. At Watton, a nice couple showed me the Wood Sandpiper.
Red Admiral
On the pond at D woods there was a family of Moorhens. The first brood ones took care of their younger siblings. I spent some time at North Marsh. A Marsh Frog croaked a couple of times half-heartedly. The stay was livened by a hunting brown hawker, which didn't stop. A Four spotted chaser was also about.
A wasps nest inside the hide overlooking the D reservoir.
Common Centaury, thanks to Barry Warrington for reminding me of the name of this beautiful flower.
A female Ruddy Darter.
In Hempholme Meadows there were two pairs of Lapwing, one of them had chicks and they kept mobbing something flying over it very low. The view was obstructed by the vegetation. After quite a while the mobbed thing was a Grey Heron, which flew screeching, and being chased by three of the Lapwings.
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