Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Fairburn Ings

Our first damselflies of the year appeared in numbers at Fairburn Ings RSPB. This pair of Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), an early and widespread species, settled on the roughly painted edge of the boardwalk while a dozen zipped around a bank of vegetation adjoining the stream. It provided a good opportunity to dust off my copy of the 'Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Great Britain and Ireland, S Brooks', where I read that the adults live on average between five and seven days, so they're unlikely to be around on my return.

Throughout our wander we heard the call of a male Cuckoo, settled just far enough away to remain out of view. At one point a blue butterfly, more Common Blue than Holly Blue darted past, the only exception to four or five Whites, the number of butterflies limited as a result of blustery winds. 

In the hedgerow surrounding the car park, we noticed hundreds of these tent making caterpillars, Spindle Ermine Moth perhaps?

We parked ourselves down by the pond for a few minutes to enjoy the view, surrounded by an abundance of fresh and vibrant, vertical green reeds, lit up by the afternoon sun. 

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