Thursday, 7 May 2015

By a little pond...

Earlier today, 7 May, 2015, I set out to visit Newnham Windmill and check out the wildlife. 

There were faint but unmistakable traces of Homo
to be seen.

The walk did not get off to an auspicious start. There is a small but significant population of the primitive hominid, Homo despicabilis, in the Daventry area and traces of their activities were almost blocking the farm gate at which the walk started.

Anyway, in the event I never got to the windmill, being sidetracked by a small pond at the foot of the hill at SP575611.

'Where, prithee, is the pond?' I hear you ask. In fact, it has been a remarkably dry winter and not a lot of water was evident.

Reed-mace, aka bulrush, growing it the much-diminished
pond.  7 May, 2015

These Reed-mace, Typha latifolia, have their feet in mud, but not a lot else. Sheep regularly use this pond as a water source and the dry conditions must be a concern for the farmer. And it is even more of a problem for frogs, toads and newts.

Flowers of the Lady's Smock were present.
7 May, 2015

Lady's Smock, Cardamine pratensis, aka Cuckoo Flower, is a plant which flourishes in damp meadows (the word pratensis means 'of meadows') and a scattering of their blooms was a welcome sight. This plant is the food of choice for the caterpillar of the Orange Tip Butterfly, Anthocharis cardamines.

A male St Mark's Fly on a grass stem below Newnham
Windmill. 7 May, 2015

The St Mark's Fly, Bibio marci, is a familiar sight around St Mark's Day (25 April) and here a male clings to a grass stem in the buffeting wind. The head looks as though it is split in two, but what we see are the two huge compound eyes; the fact that the eyes meet in this way allows the gender to be confirmed. It appears to be carrying an orange mite at the base of its left wing.

What was this Birch Catkin Bug doing on a buttercup
leaf?  7 May, 2015

This little bug was on a buttercup leaf. Why it was there is not clear for it is a Birch Catkin Bug, Kleidocerys resedae. I wasn't aware of any birch trees nearby but the rather acid soils of the immediate area could well have been supporting some.

A few spots of rain fell on my face and the sky looked threatening. It was time to go. In any case it was Election Day and I was picking up Chris to go and cast our votes.

No comments:

Post a Comment