Middle of March and a variety of wildlife to see
Saturday 20 March 2021
What better sign of spring than the first wood anemone flowers, these were along North Stroud Lane (image 1). Coming into their own now along our road verges are masses of bright yellow lesser celandines, here along Ramsdean Road (image 2). Wild strawberries are having their second flowering and hopefully will produce some tasty fruit, here along Ridge Common Lane (image 3). We often see red kites and this one flew over us as we walked along Ramsdean Road (image 4). We have laid new hay under our wildlife tins and have been rewarded with nesting bank voles (image 5).
Looking down into the pond by torchlight revealed several different species of caddis fly larvae. In particular, one type making it’s case out of circular cut leaf fragments and another out of small sticks and incorporating tiny love pea mussels; all bound together by silken strands (image 6). Mary found this adult caddis fly on our kitchen wall (image 7). Caddis flies are rather like moths but have hairy rather than scaly wings. On the surface of the pond was a tiny shaggy springtail (Orchesella villosa), only a few millimetres long and distinguished from other springtails by the curved hairs on its back (image 8).
A spectacular moth attracted to light this week has been the distinctive shoulder stripe (Earophila badiata) with its rich darker and paler reddish brown stripes (image 9). On the ivy over our birch tree was this cucumber spider holding onto to silken strands waiting for a catch (image 10).