Sunday, 30 August 2009

Bug Hunting

Once again I feel that I should start with a warm vote of thanks to the EDDC team for a fantastic day - Charlie is bound to be reviewing those salaries shortly!!!
Seaton Marshes is a well managed and stocked Nature Reserve set adjacent to the equally impressive Axe Estuary. It hosts a large water filled pit with an island for the local wildlife to enjoy some privacy! The site is choc full of Flora and Fauna delights, and every step you will find something - if you are looking. You can dip the pond for an introduction to yet more minibeasts, of which there are many. There are wildfowl at the pond and a hide from which to observe those on the estuary. Should you wish to, it is equally adept for a nice summers day walk and maybe even a picnic
We started off with a quick peek to see what was about before the hoards decended and were instantly met by Common and Bluetail Damselflies, before walking on and bumping into a Ruddy Darter.
The verges were full of Fleabane, Knapweed and Willow Herb which in turn were covered with a multitude of nectar collecting hoverflies and butterflies, most notably Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Large White.
Shortly after, the Pond dipping began in earnest and we soon had quite a collection of Waterboatmen, Screech Beetles, Mayfly Larvae, Diving Beetles, Hog Louse, Saucer Bugs and a fantastic Dragonfly Nymph, a later sweep would see Stick Insects pulled in as well.

Following the dipping, sampling of the meadow wildlife was undertaken and many finds were quick to come in, an assortment of Grashoppers including the pictured pink one, a Silver Y Moth, Spiders, Bush Crickets and other inverterbrates swiftly ensued for expert identification.

All in all a very productive day with some great finds from a very well managed and furtile spot, I for one shall be returning with my youngsters to investigate further what we can find and just for the sheer joy of the surroundings.

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