Saturday, 24 May 2014

Linacre insects and breeding birds

Despite a pretty poor weather forecast, I decided to pop down to Linacre this morning for a few hours. As always, I'm glad I did, as I added a new species of micro moth to the list, and also managed to gather evidence of breeding success for another species of bird.

First up the moth. As I was walking along the path at the bottom of the top reservoir I spotted a small moth with very long antennae  flying around a tree. I watched it land and managed to get a couple of photos. Checking my book at home I found out it's called Nemophora degeerella, a species belonging to the Adelidae family (known colloquially as Longhorns), which is made up of 15 species in the UK. It's common throughout England, so I expect I'll see more examples later in the year (details here).

Nemophora degeerella
There weren't many other insects about (that I could photograph or identify!), but I did spot this Red and Black Froghopper. This is a common species at Linacre and I see them on most visits during the summer.
Red and Black Froghopper
Away from the insects, I spotted 5 broods of Mallards, 3 broods of Coots and 2 new Great-crested Grebe chicks on the top reservoir. This means both pairs of grebes have successfully hatched chicks this year, which is brilliant news. The new species with young this morning was Grey Wagtail. 2 adults and one chick were seen around the middle reservoir, which again, is great news after the predation of the nest on the top reservoir.

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