Saturday, August 27th 2016

The subject for Eco Club was late summer, so we set off to see what we could find.  Overnight the moth trap was set so we looked at the catch.  This included Canary Shouldered Thorn but they would not stay still for a photograph but Centre-barred Sallow was more co-operative.

Centre-barred Sallow

Autumnal Rustic is just beginning its flight season so looked very smart.

Autumnal Rustic

On our walk we shook some trees and there were some surprises.  Spiders galore rained from a conifer tree, whilst this Common Darter fell from an Alder tree.

Common Darter

Speckled Wood, Brimstone and Red Admiral butterflies were all recorded. Feeding was the only thing on the mind of this Peacock Butterfly.

Peacock Butterfly

Groups of animals often have a collective name, but so far I have failed to find one for a group of Pond Skaters.

A group of Pond Skaters

Flowers were not to be missed out and hidden away were some fresh Dog Daisies, looking unnibbled and very white.

Dog Daisy

As it was warmish and there was a bit of sun we decided to walk to the wetland to see if we could see the Common Lizards.  A quick flick of the tail would be nice.  As we rounded a corner there it was and there it stayed!  We decided that it was out sunbathing to raise its temperature.

Common Lizard

As we left the wetland sweep netting and catching many, many insects another Common Lizard was seen on the boardwalk edge. 

Common Lizard

The female lizard retains the eggs inside her and can often be seen sunbathing as she attempts to keep her temperature high, around 30 centigrade,  to help with the development of the eggs.  July sees the young born.  They are about 3cm long.  I have found no data as to the growth rates of these lizards, so estimating how old these two are is difficult, although judging by their length they are not this year's young.  Males mature at two year old and females at three. 

Many visitors enjoyed walking around in the sunshine and seeing darters, butterflies and Water Vole.  Buzzards were calling overhead and a Chiffchaff was heard.

Volunteers yet again, showed their various skills by helping with Eco Club and carrying out some weekly jobs.  Thank you very much.

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