Monday, 14 March 2016

Mid-March Mudfest

Trees were still mostly bare. Kentle Wood, near Daventry.
13 March, 2016
Lovely sunshine lured me out to Kentle Wood. The footpaths were treacherous, with extensive patches of mud; beneath the trees some areas were flooded, reminding us of the high clay content of the soil.

Trees were mostly bare with only the occasional hazel showing fresh green foliage. A little imagination was needed to foresee the glorious blossom that the rows of cherry trees would be displaying a few weeks hence.

A bird's nest, looking pathetically vulnerable, occupied a low hawthorn bush. Yet I must have passed that spot dozens of times last year without it catching my attention!

Eudasyphora cyanicolor tucks in to blackthorn nectar.
Kentle Wood, 13 March, 2016

The only blossom to be seen was borne on
blackthorn, Prunus spinosa, twigs and, although it was rather chilly, there was enough sunshine to tempt flies from their winter hideaways and seek out the nectar. But by and large there were not many insects to be seen.


For the record, the insects recorded were:

Eudasyphora cyanicolor    7 specimens of this very common 'greenbottle' fly.
Sepsis fulgens    A very small fly associated with dung.
Aleochara bipustulata    A tiny beetle (2.5 mm); one of the family known as 'staphs'.                                        New record for Kentle Wood
Bembidion guttula   Another very small beetle; ubiquitous. One of the Carabidae.

Not a big 'haul', nor was I expecting much. But it was a sign of things to come and I returned home well satisfied.

Postscript (The Aleochara brings the total number of invertebrates I've recorded from Kentle Wood to 316 species.)

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