Nature Notes #39

Nature Notes #39

Common Red Soldier Beetle Rhagonycha fulva FM Jul5th14 8023Other common things that can be seen frequently are Red Soldier Beetle Rhagonycha fulva and Nettle-tap Moths Anthophila fabriacana.
Common Red Soldier Beetles seem to be on every Hogweed umbel at the moment, most of them engaging in mating activity whilst the conditions are right.

Nettle-tap Moth Anthophila fabriciana FM Jul5th14 8020
Nettle-tap moth (pictured opposite with Red Soldier Beetles and above) are a day-flying micro that is one of the commonest moths in the UK. The adults will be seen feeding on flowers such as Ragwort and Hogweed. The larvae feed on Nettles.
On my last visit I was very surprised to see how quickly the Hogweeds had gone to seed. The path below the old log that had been full of plants in full flower the week before, but on Sunday July 6th there were only a fraction of plants with full heads on them. I presume the warm dry weather has speeded things along.

Written and images by Tony Broome.

11.07.14. Birdlog

11.07.14. Birdlog

10.07.14. Red-necked Grebe, River Weaver, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonThe Red-necked Grebe was mid river in the company of a Creat Crested early morning. There were several broods of Tufted Duck, Mallard and Coot also on the river. A clutch of 6 ducklings on their own had me stumped until a female Teal called them in to cover.

A pair of Common Tern flew up river dip feeding as they went and were surprisingly the first of the summer. Also present a small group of Black-tailed Godwit were feeding on the opposite bank. Plenty of Swift over head and again both Reed and Sedge Warbler were singing.

Both Mallard and Tufted Duck were in good numbers with smaller figures of Shelduck and Teal . A Fox cub near the outlet pipe didn’t look to healthy and limped off when it noticed I was there. Generally a quite day for raptors with just Buzzard and Kestrel seen. A Chiffchaff calling on the path to No.6 tank was to be expected here.

Observer: Paul Ralston.

Image: WSM