Saturday, 23 July 2016

Linacre WeBS - Birds, Butterflies, Damsels and Dragons

This weekend was the time to carry out this month's WeBS count at Linacre, so I was down there at 7am with Luke. We recorded  the usual species, including a good number of youngsters. Numbers were as follows: Mallard (68, including 1 brood of 5 ducklings), Tufted Duck (26, including 1 brood of 5), Mandarin Duck (19, including 8 ducklings), Moorhen (2, 1 adult and 1 juvenile), Coot (9, 5 adults and 2 broods of 3 and 2 chicks), Grey Heron (3), Grey Wagtail (5) and Great-crested Grebe (6, 2 adults and 4 juveniles). Unfortunately, no sign of the Shag, which was last reported on 19th July, but I'm sure someone will find it again soon.

Juvenile Great-crested Grebe

The weather for this morning's walk was super, being warm (16 degrees) and sunny on arrival, and rising to 20 degrees by the time we left. As a result, there was a great deal of insect activity around the site with 4 species of butterfly, 4 species of moth seen along with several bumblebees, 2 species of damselfly and 1 species of dragonfly. The butterflies were: Small Tortoiseshell (2), Large White (3), Meadow Brown (20+) and Small Skipper (1).

Small Tortoiseshell

Moths seen were: Large Yellow Underwing (1), Silver Y (2), Brown China Mark (1) and caterpillars of Cinnabar Moth.

Cinnabar Moth caterpillars

Damselflies seen were: Common Blue (10+) and Blue-tailed (1 male). The Common Blues were the most numerous, and included males, one pair "in tandem" and at least 2 "teneral" or newly emerged individuals, lacking the colour of the mature damselflies.

Teneral Common Blue Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly "in tandem"

The dragonfly species seen was a single adult Brown Hawker, and this exuvia, also possibly a Brown Hawker, that was found floating in the water of the top reservoir.

Dragonfly exuvia

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