A Beautiful Day
Friday, April 23rd 2021
Warm sunshine, no wind and blue sky greeted the volunteers yesterday. They all went off in different directions to carry out a variety of tasks, from repairing a pond dipping platform, putting in new dams to correct water loss, digging channels to make the water go where we want it to go and not where it chooses and repairing some steps in the woodland. Many thanks for all the work completed yesterday.
The trees surrounding the lake are beginning to show their spring colours. There are now three pairs of tufties (Tufted Duck) on the lake along with Mallard, Grey Wagtail, Little Grebe, Moorhen and Grey Heron.
No wind at Spigot Mere meant that reflections could be easily admired.
The previous night was relatively mild so the moth traps were set. A total of 71 moths were trapped, manily dull brown and some quite worn, but two Early Thorns were recorded. Soon, weather permitting, the moth species will change and bring a bit more colour to the traps. There is plenty of food for the larvae of this moth as it feeds on Hawthorn, Blackthorn, both birches, Silver and Downy as well as Alder and Honeysuckle.
Primroses cover the bank down from the wetland and a few minutes standing quietly saw that there were several Bee Fly Mimics (Bombilius major) flying around. the emphasis on flying! The photos taken have a delightful splodge in middle. These insects are also known as Large bee-fly and Dark-edged bee-fly.
The flies mimic bees and uses it to its own advantage, allowing close access to solitary bee and wasp nests in order to deposit its eggs. They flick their eggs as close to the nests as possible.After hatching, the larvae find their way into the nests to parasitically feed on the grubs. Nature is fantastic!
Along Risedale Beck another bank was in full sunshine with the flowers open and enjoying feeding was another Bee fly and it sat still.
Finally wandering back to Spigot Mere Greylag Geese were calling. A stealthy approach saw two sitting on the island but then a sense that I was being watched and over the bund was another Greylag just checking me out. A quick click with the camera and a quiet get away.
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