It has been one of those odd weather days. At the start of a walk at Nene Valley Wetlands it was windy and blue sky by the end it was muggy and grey brooding sky.
it is amazing the amount of height that these thistles and all the plants especially the grasses and brambles have managed to grow over the last few weeks.
As we walked through the gate and into the meadow area the number of tiny damsel flies was amazing . They are skimming around grasses and leaves , sitting with their wings folded and then off again. Sometimes they were in groups of up to 8 , mini swarms around the brambles. I only had my phone with me and they are very fidgety to snap.
There were mainly the very tiny blue banded damselflies.
Once you become focused on insects it’s amazing what you see.
Ladybird- A harlequin species .Ladybirds are beetles, there are 4000 species in the U.K. and 300,000 world wide. The harlequin ladybird is not native to Britain it arrived in 2004 but has now spread across the south and the midlands. It is a larger species than the native ones. They are adaptable and can live in a variety of habitats. It predates other ladybirds and is a threat to the native species.
I love the umbrellas of the umbellifers, this is common Hogweed ( Heracleum sphondylium)9, there are always plenty of insects sitting on top of these flowery tables.
The insect finds continue, there were large numbers of these rather attractive flies. This is the scorpion fly ( Panorpa communis) the specimen in my photos is a Male , the scorpion tail end covers the genitalia it is not a sting.There are three species in Britain and they need careful identification with a hand lens. I am rather taken by these flies,the wings are very attractive.They feed on dead insects and steal from spiders webs !!
Also this glossy black fly ,I have searched this and found it is a phantom crane fly
I love the high gloss and it is found near water margins , Latin name Ptychoptera contaminata. There are only seven species in this family of insects. The larvae live in mud in the shallow water and have long breathing tubes.
There were speckled wood butterflies which would not stay still long enough for me to photograph. We found a chrysalis that was empty , amazing structure.
This beetle hunts mainly in flowers it has shiny black wing cases (elytra).It is Cantharis rustica.
The dog roses are in full flower and look good enough to be at the Chelsea flower show along with the yellow flags.
The loop back was along the edge of a buttercup field next to a hedge and the damsel flies were everywhere. I am going back tomorrow with a proper camera .
The list of plants and animals seen on this 40 minute walk would be very long which is a lovely positive thing , EXPLORE MORE.