A couple of trips. Firstly Rainham Marsh RSPB. Marsh Harrier and Bearded Tits notwithstanding, it was all about the insects. There were masses of workers on the Lavender in the car park and I think these were Brown-Banded Carder Bees, mainly because at least one of them was a carder bee with a brown band. Difficult to photograph in a suitable pose, I am nevertheless quite pleased with the art in these photos.
Then a few Shrill Carder Bees, an Emerald Damselfly in the Cordite area that I am told is a Willow Emerald, and some more common stuff - the Hornet Mimic Volucella Zonaria which I now see more often than I see Hornet.
|Shrill Carder Bee worker|
Then with David today to Stansted Airport Lagoons for waders followed by another trip to Hatfield Forest to see Purple Emperors. Needless to say this did not go as planned. There was a lone Lapwing at a very full lagoons, but there were up to ten damselflies on algae pads on one of the lagoons. David was sure these were Small Red-eyed Damselflies and having looked at photos the step on the end of the abdomen does match the photos and is quite distinctively different from Red-Eyed. A flicker in the foliage turned out to be another Willow Emerald. We left the lagoons quite happy with our haul and went to the Forest. We walked round the NW corner of Hatfield Forest finding little new in the way of Butterflies, and no sign of the Emperors but did see plenty of Ringlets and Gatekeepers sunning themselves. We paused from looking down long enough to see a Raven fly over which is a good record for the forest.