25 May 2013

11 hours patching

An 11 hour session at the patch today produced virtually no migrants, while simultaneously elsewhere in London and the south-east, scarce migrants and rares were cropping up all over the place!

On Staines Moor, 1 Greenshank along the Colne at 06:30 for an hour before being flushed by dog walkers and flying off high north was the highlight, and 1+ Cuckoo, 1 Red Kite NW, 57+ Common Swift, 2 Barn Swallow, 2-4 Shelduck, 1+ Redshank, 1 Little Owl in the NW corner, 1 Lapwing, 1 Little Egret, 3 Grey Heron, 1+ Lesser Whitethroat (H), 1 Reed Warbler (H), 1+ Kingfisher and 1+ 'Commic' Tern were also noted. Missed a Spotted Flycatcher in the north-east corner seen by another birder.

Greenshank along the Colne at 06:30 for an hour before heading off north

An emergence of thousands of adult mayflies, Ephemera danica, especially along Bonehead Ditch, attracted 4+ Hobby, 40+ Black-headed Gulls and Common Swifts overhead.

A major emergence of Ephemera danica mayflies at the patch today. There are 51 species of mayfly in Britain, this one is over two
inches long! The three tails are diagnostic of this species.


Lots of other inverts around today in the warmer weather. Saw my first Banded Demoiselles Calopteryx splendens of the year, a Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas, several Nettle-taps Anthophila fabriciana, lots of Yellow Dung Flies Scathophaga stercoraria, and a Wasp Beetle Clytus arietis.

Newly emerged male Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens

This insect was crawling around on the wing of the above demoiselle. Any ideas what this is?

Nettle-tap Anthophila fabriciana, several of these day-flying moths were along Bonehead Ditch around Common Nettles Urtica
dioica
, it's larval foodplant.

Wasp Beetle Clytus arietis

Also spent some time photographing wildflowers.

Cut-leaved Crane's-bill Geranium dissectum is flowering on some of the anthills

Silverweed Potentilla anserina

On Stanwell Moor, 1 Lesser Whitethroat (H), 3+ House Martin, 2 Tufted Duck and 1m Shoveler were noted, and Common Vetch Vicia sativa and Common Comfrey Symphytum officinale are now flowering.

Common Vetch Vicia sativa

Common Comfrey Symphytum officinale

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