Hello! I am working on an update post that will cover all the stuff I’ve not bothered to post recently, but today’s post is about my lovely day today.
Last night the weather forecast claimed it was going to be a cloudy, balmy night, with temperatures not dropping below 14 degrees, so I decided to set up my portable moth trap at Fen Bog. (Portable moth trap? Yes, portable moth trap. All will be explained in a future post that explains the past)
I dropped the trap off, had a quick walk around the reserve, spotted a Fritillary (presumably Dark Green) and an Adder. I then came home and went to sleep.
I got back to Fen Bog at about 5.00 am and checked the trap. Unfortunately the weather forecast had been catastrophically wrong and there were few moths to enjoy, the majority of the catch comprising of Northern Spinach. There were however two moths that were particularly nice to see:
After releasing the moths, I decided to go for a walk down a path that I hadn’t explored before. As I wandered along, I spotted a Jay, a Snipe, a Roe Deer, as well as a large patch of Heath-Spotted Orchids. Before long the path became quite muddy and wet (Almost…boggy? LOL) but the difficulty of the terrain was made up for by the sharpness of my eyes, which spotted these little beauties:
As I haven’t been updating the blog as often as I should, you are probably unaware that I have been making a special effort this year to identify plants. It has been slow, thirsty work, but I have identified about 100 plants this year, which isn’t really that impressive. Anyway, the Round-Leaved Sundew has to be by far my favourite plant of the year so far. what’s not to love? It’s a plant that eats animals. This isn’t a horror film plant, this is real life.
After a few hours the sun came out in force, and I had another frustratingly brief view of a Fritillary (once again, presumably Dark Green). I flipped over a railway sleeper and found a Toad underneath and a Common Lizard clinging to the side; this encouraged me to turn over more of the sleepers, and I was soon rewarded by this delightfully surprising beast:
A quick google finds no mention of Great Crested Newt at Fen Bog, so it may be worth dropping the YWT an email to let them know, just in case they were considering building an airport or testing nuclear weapons on the reserve.
As I continued with my perambulations, I spotted an odd looking fly on a reed. On closer inspection the fly appeared to be sadly deceased, and partially covered with a fungus of some sort:
I think it’s quite likely that the fungus is Entomophthora muscae, a fungus that infects flies. What a treat for me.
I only saw two dragonflies whilst I was there, but luckily both were new species for me. To celebrate, I decided to take slightly out of focus pictures of them.
Seeing those two dragonflies leaves me with only one Yorkshire species of Odonata left to see – Variable Damselfly. (“What about Small Red-eye?” I hear you ask. Patience, all will become clear.)
As I head back to my car, ready to go home for a shower, I was distracted by a lovely female Adder on the path:
I love Adders. I could happily see a dozen Adders a day and just never get bored of them. Snakes in general, in fact, are awesome.
All in all, pretty successful trip, even if the mothing was poor.
EDIT: Just thought I’d add that I had a little seawatch this evening, highlights being an Arctic Skua and two Bonxies, as well as lots of views of the Peregrines swooping around the cliffs.