Saturday, 28 August 2010

Rodents and other savage beasts in the garden

Well, a major garden tick during Amber and Tim's visit - a Brown Rat!

More interestingly, a quick twitch to Rockford yesterday secured 4 Black Terns (1 adult, 3 juvs), coming hard on the heels of a refreshingly wet wade through Vales Moor in the Forest - while we didn't find the main target species (Drosera anglica), we did see lots of Large Marsh Grasshoppers, and succeeded in finding (and moreover identifying!) a single Heath Grasshopper on Castle Hill nearby. Two of the rarest British grasshoppers, in totally different habitats, within 200m of each other - only in the New Forest. Also Keeled Skimmer, Small Red Damselfly and a very welcome family party of Dartford Warblers.

Heath Grasshopper (Chorthippus vagans) - a rare denizen of dry heaths in the southern New Forest and on the Dorset heaths. Easily (not) identified by a combination of features, including the black wedges on the rear of the pronotum reaching the rear edge, and especially the small but distinct costal bulge on the leading edge of the forewing.

Simon tries to negotiate Vales Moor bog - and fails. The wellies are wet....

Some airborne accompaniment to Orthoptera hunting

On the DIY front, Julia has planted up the right hand bed by the drive, and Simon has been presure-blasting the side of the house to get the blown masonry paint off. And was attacked by a vile wild animal! A Wasp sting right under your eyelid is no fun at all.....

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