Friday 12 May 2023

It's mainly the little beasties today

A light NE wind, mainly sunny and quite warm.

Heysham Nature Reserve (Janet)
Burnet Companion moth

Common Carpet moth
Holly Blue butterfly - Moneyclose Lane
Reed Warbler - Moneyclose Lane

South Shore (MD)
I went along the sea wall in the afternoon sun and NE breeze, hoping some interesting insects might be coming in, but it is a bit early in the year and I only managed a few butterflies 
Small White 3
Small Tortoiseshell 1
Brimstone 3 all males
A terrible shot! But it does show a Brimstone coming in over the roundhead wall.
This is a regular insect flight line in these conditions, but not many around today.

Shelduck 8
Swallow 14
Linnet 6
Wheatear 2
Rock Pipit  - there was a male display calling within the Power Station grounds behind Red Nab. Plus at least one adult taking large food items to the nest hole below the lighthouse. I only ever saw one adult at a time, but four visits in five minutes suggests they are feeding young rather than just a sitting female.
Not sure what this large grub is.......but it looks tasty!
They will not go down to the nest hole when they are aware that they are being watched. This shot shows the location of the nest hole.

This short clip shows an adult returning to the top of the wall after taking some food to the nest.

The Carrion Crow is still sitting on the nest on the wooden jetty. It's a risky site with all the large gulls around, I doubt they will be able to leave the chicks unattended.

One 2nd calendar year Kittiwake is still resting on the pipe in the harbour

The only waders seen apart from Oystercatcher were these resting on No.1 outflow
Three Turnstone, three Dunlin and two Ringed Plover

Grey seal 1 - this clip begins with the seal then pans across the gulls (mainly 2nd calendar year Common) feeding on the seaward end of No.1 outflow.

The same blanket of mud that covered the seed mussels on the north side has also covered the Sand Mason worm tubes on the beach between the wooden jetty and No.1 outflow. This doesn't affect the worms, but a soft mud surface seems to make it difficult for the Mediterranean Gulls to catch them. A couple of weeks ago this beach was looking promising, but at the moment looks even worse than last year, which wasn't good! We need a storm to clear the soft mud before the Meds return.
The currently featureless beach next to the wooden jetty.
Not a sand mason worm tube in sight!

These are small Grey Mullet swimming up the channel alongside the outflows to feed on the algae that has formed on the mud between tides. You can't see the fish in this clip, just their shadows and their bustling to get the best algae first! I've seen them reach onto the mud to feed in their fervour.

As I was coming off the wall Kevin Eaves was just beginning and he is much more diligent at little beasties than I am!
A few beetles (and other invertebrates) along the wall today
11 spot Ladybird
Poecilus cuprous/versicolour
Sun Beetle
Almost certainly a Water Lily Leaf Beetle
Six-spot Burnet caterpillar
Teneral damselfly

Finally this nice record also from Kevin Eaves:
I was sitting on my doorstep, putting on my shoes, when this delightful Wasp Beetle came to join me. One of several wasp-mimicking invertebrates, they're not particularly uncommon, though this was the first one I remember seeing.