Tuesday, 26 May 2020

A Day on the Bikes and a Picnic.

A Local Day out on the Bikes with a Picnic.

An excellent day out on the bikes today with a couple of good sections of off-roading.  The weather was perfect: low twenties but muted sun which meant for perfect conditions.  Our route took us to Brigsley, ou along Waithe Lane and then an off-road section to Grainsby Park where we had out picnic enjoying watching our first house martins of the year and a pair of blue tits busily feeding chicks in a nest in a hole in the church stone work.  We continued on through the park and the second off road section across to Ashby cum Fenby before joining the main road back into Grimsby and retracing our outward route.  An excellent 17 miles.

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A Good Night's Mothing.

A Good Night's Mothing

I had a good night's mothing last night.  The temperature remained above 10C all night and it was a new moon so, basically, no moon which is good.  I was up at 5.00 this morning emptying the trap and annoyingly had two or three escapees before I could get them potted.  During the day I managed to ID those with which I was unfamiliar and then photographed them tonight, also suffering a couple of escapees.  Below are images of new moths for me plus the heart and dart which I photographed against a different background than previously.

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Heart and Dart
Poplar Grey
Poplar Grey
Poplar Grey
Rustic Shoulder Knot
Treble Lines

Monday, 25 May 2020

Messing with Insects at Messingham

A Brilliant Day's Insect Hunting at Messing Sand Quarry.

I was up at 4.30 this morning to get an early start to Messingham.  Partly because I wanted to catch the damselflies when they were fairly inactive and also to avoid the possibility of it being crowded.  As it was when I arrived at 6.15 mine was the third car in the car park.  I was really good to be back at Messingham again; my first visit since 2015.  It was already warm and birds were singing loudly everywhere, especially reed warblers singing from deep in the reed beds.  Annoyingly none showed themselves.  Willow warblers and chiffchaff were also vocal and I heard my first cuckoo of the year.

Damsels were fairly inactive at first and I took my first photograph at 6.30.  As the day warmed up, though they became very busy and there were thousands of them whirring around like living jewels.  They were nearly all blue-tailed or azure and I saw no common blues, at least not to identify.  There were a few large reds though and some variably coloured females: rufescens with a pink thorax and infuscans with a green thorax rather than the normal green/blue.  The big dragons didn't appear until the day really got warmed up and I managed to photograph some pristine four spotted chasers.  Two hairies were seen but these were up in the trees and impaoosible to photograph.  I was pleased to obtain photos of male and female common blue, the only two I saw, and a single speckled wood but otherwise butterflies apart from orange tip were thin on the ground.

By mid-day I had walked 5 miles and was ready for a break so headed home for some post processing and a nap.  A brilliant morning though.

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Azure female
Azure male
Azure mating pair
Blue-tailed female, rufescans
Blue-tailed
Blue-tailed
Blue-tailed
Blue-tailed
Blue-tailed mating pair
Blue-tailed mating pair
Common Blue
Common Blue
Common Blue
Four spotted Chaser
Four spotted Chaser
Four spotted Chaser
Four spotted Chaser
Large red damselfly
Scorpion Fly
Scorpion Fly
Scorpion Fly
Speckled Wood
Speckled Wood
Long Jawed orb weaver
Mute Swan
Mute Swan

Sunday, 24 May 2020

An Afternoon Walk from Hatcliffe

An Afternoon Walk from Hatcliffe along Waithe Beck.

Although, according to the forecast the winds should have calmed down today, it was still very blustery.  However, we set off for the short drive to Hatcliffe to walk along Waithe Beck to the A18 and back.  As soon as we dropped down into the valley, we got out of the wind and the sun came out providing for a beautiful walk. Despite the beck being hidden by vegetation for much off the way it was a delight to hear the sound of running water and catch occasional glimpses.  Towards the end of the walk the path enters attractive woodland and the beck becomes more obvious.

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