Saturday, September 05, 2015

When is a worm not a worm?

Well I have surprised myself on at least two counts here; firstly, despite the rainy weather (Man, August was poor for sunshine) I have gotten out and about a few times with the camera. Secondly, here I am back with another update....already! I say already because these updates are normally, notoriously sparse. Let's start with that rain then shall we...



I have noticed lots and lots of green shieldbug instars in the garden and what's more, they don't seem to mind the inclement weather at all. Many of them were sitting in the rain quite happily (not sure how you judge happiness in a shieldbug, but still...) 



I'm not convinced this bee was quite so at home in the wet weather...
The following morning, it was raining again and the bee was still hanging around the same part of the garden...



At least this woundwort shieldbug was making some effort to take shelter...




In the old orchard behind the house, this southern hawker dragonfly was finding it difficult to get airborne in damp and cold(ish) conditions...





I did find another one on a nicer day as well...



On a (slightly) better day, I noticed this little speckled bush cricket. This is a male and males call to attract females by rubbing their wings together, but their 'song' is a high-pitched chirp that is barely audible to human ears. The fact that the wings are reduced to these little flaps means that they are in fact flightless...

video




Oooh! Before I move on, I have just remembered a trip to Alexandra Park in Hastings a while ago, where I saw this young heron...




I have to report that the sorry saga of my moth trap woes continues. This has been another troublesome year for me. Early season I just wasn't catching any moths and then for whatever reason, the bulbs kept blowing. Having sorted that problem at last (I hope) and then completing a couple of small alterations to the trap, it has now rained every night since it has been back in service and so apart from about an hour one evening, I haven't yet been able to use it properly. Here's one of the moths I did get on that last short outing though and I will of course update the moth trap diary here just as soon as I have something to add to it..

Celypha lacunana
I think the identity is correct on that little moth but as always do tell if you know better...


Since my last update I have found time to re-visit the nature reserve at Cinderhill, close to Tonbridge in Kent. Once again I had some nice finds. Starting with this tussock moth caterpillar...



And a slow worm, slow-worm or slowworm...

A Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis)
Despite their name and appearance, slow-worms are neither worms nor snakes, but are in fact lizards - they're given away by their ability to shed their tails and blink their eyelids.



Chrysotoxum festivum-A Hoverfly
There are several similar species of the hoverfly pictured above.but given the markings and habitat I am hoping I have chosen the correct one.


There were lots of common lizards sunning themselves on the tree stumps...



Once again I found some gorse shieldbugs on broom, this one is just getting its winter coat...




Finally one of my favourite and often seen hoppers...






Issus coleoptratus

Well that is all for now, except that...I have more and so I may even break the habit of a lifetime and post yet another update in the next few days...

Until the next time...


7 comments:

  1. Fabulous blog and I LOVE that raindrop covered green shieldbug! One I'd have on the wal! Love all the other shieldbugs too obviously and also the lizards (with and without legs!) ;-)
    Mx

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    1. Thanks so much Maria. It's always a pleasure to receive your comments...;-)

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  2. Oh your macros are just so wonderful - you make me want to dust off my proper gear and get out there, but I'm out of practice at holding steady (not to mention the weight of it all) so I think I'll leave it until next year or at least when I'm a bit more bendy. Love that first photo! And I am extremely envious of the dragonfly photos especially the one on your hand! And (and and and) I have never seen a male Southern Hawker ever stop still as I have seen them many years around my pond and the buggers just hover in mid air and mock me! But I may have got a photo of one (haven't got to IDing yet) because when I was out for a walk earlier in the week one landed on a tree downhill from where we were standing, but I've only got very zoomed photos of it and it was perched on the other side of a twig facing me. It looks like the right colours though.

    The heron, slow worms and lizards and super shots too but for me my favourite critter is the tussock moth caterpillar - never seen one like that before. It's so cute I want it as a pet..... :-)

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    1. 'are super shots' .... not 'and super shots'. I read that through about 3 times before posting!!!

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    2. Why thank-you Mandy. It's always good to hear that others appreciate your photos, we all like that eh...;-) Speaking of the weight of it all. I can see how it would be a real problem for you and I'm sure given time, you'll feel more able to use the 'proper' macro kit. I am actually struggling a little myself with weight as I have nerve damage to my right arm/hand and so I have been contemplating changing my camera and flash for something lighter in the near future. My current set-up weighs around 5lb...

      Good luck with the southern hawker dragonfly!

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    3. Ha! You're catching my disease with typos...I usually check before posting too ;-)

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    4. Yup mine with the speedlite and Canon 100mm macro lens is around 2kg, I've forgotten exactly how much. Add on the extension tubes, well they don't weigh much but I've got to have the Speedlite with the tubes.... and I still have not got around to sorting out a decent home made diffuser. I have a crappy one I got from the internet but it keeps falling off and is no good when you've got about 9 inches of lens sticking out and the flash is going off in all the wrong directions and is nowhere near the end of the lens. Trouble is I am useless at DIY, I mean, really, really, useless. :-)

      And if I use extension tubes with a 50mm lens which is much lighter, but is equally good macro wise, I have to get so close to the subject that the speedlite and diffuser often get in the way (not to mention the subject usually scarpers by then). :-/

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