Thursday, 12 November 2015

Bunkers Hill, Badby

With the sun shining from an almost cloudless sky I girded up my loins and set forth for the pretty village of Badby. The plan was to park the car and then walk to Badby Woods. That plan was quickly quashed when I realised that my welly boots were not in the car boot. 'Bless me!' I muttered.

I had parked near to the foot of Bunkers Hill and, as the footing was reasonably firm, I risked venturing up for a short distance.

Beds of nettles bordered the track. Normally I'd have passed them by but flies were basking on the leaves so I spent a while there.

A Hornet, Vespa crabro, was handled with caution.
Badby, Northants. 12 November, 2015

A Hornet, Vespa crabro, was among the sun worshippers; I netted it for a photograph and then released it. Though large and with a fearsome reputation, hornets tend to be docile but I opened my net cautiously as it may have objected to being captured. A bit tetchy, like.

Despite the sun the footpath was very wet and the plants were still drying out from the overnight dew. But remarkably there were plenty of flies and I netted fifty-six plus a couple of harvestmen. I had little doubt that all would prove to be commonplace species but there was always a chance...

Oddly enough, this fly with only 1.5 wings was quick enough to evade my net!

The Noon-fly is among the most distinctive of our insects.
Badby, Northants. 12 November, 2015

This Noon-fly, Mesembrina meridiana, with its distinctive orange wing bases was not quite so agile. Although it is an insect I tend to associate with mid-summer, it has a very long season.

So, however you dress it up this was hardly an exciting day. Badby Woods will get get a visit from me before long but I suspect I'll be mainly looking for mosses, fungi and lichens.

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