|Furrow orbweaver spider - Larinoides cornutus (I think)|
|Common darter male and female in the copulation wheel|
|Exuviae - guessing a common darter came from this one due to it's size and the sheer number of them around!|
|Emerald damselfly - a particularly green specimen. Shame the photo isn't 100% in focus|
|Common darter on my car's aerial|
The day after the dragonfly and butterfly day I was out water vole surveying once again. We were lucky with the weather but, for the first part of the day, not so lucky with water vole signs. It seems they aren't so keen on the dense reedbeds. Anyway we moved on to search the extension fields and the first ditch we surveyed, Chloe spotted a little vole critter swim to the other side of the reeds. We stood and watched for a while, saw it swim really quickly to another tunnel created by folded over reeds. I scanned the area using my camera and I came across two little beady eyes staring at me! The image below is my first photo of a water vole :) It isn't the best but I'm not too bothered. The cute little thing swam off once I had taken my photo.
|My first ever water vole photo!! What a little cutie!!|
|Water vole latrine|
|Grasshopper of some species... common green? Meadow?|
|A rather pale Clouded yellow.... could it be an actual Pale Clouded yellow? Or just a faded normal one?|
On the first day of Autumn (supposedly) we packed some snacks and a flask, took our OS map and went for a walk in the woods. We had to drive a bit first. To Chilham. Backpack, walking boots and dog at the ready off we trundled. Took me back to map reading whilst doing D of E! We had a great walk, lots of migrant hawkers around the coppiced woodland and a quite a bit of fungi around. A cross-over between summer and autumn!
|Possibly coral-spot fungus - Nectria cinnabarina|
Volunteering at South Swale Reserve on 2nd September we were repairing some fencing the cattle had pushed over and made unstable. Keeping us company was this nice grey plover, some distant seals, a few clouded yellows, some young meadow pipits and 5 or so wheatears!
|Seen better and much more clearly through the Warden's scope|
The house martins are still around which is lovely. The swifts left us a good few weeks ago now, so it is great to still have these amazing little birds chattering in their hundreds above the garden. Their white undersides catch the evening sun so beautifully. The youngsters from the nests on our house seem to have taken up residence in the HM box we put up! Maybe it was a bit of a squish in the mud nest and they wanted to get away from their siblings!
|Numerous HMs in the evening - 2nd Sept|
|Just a fraction of the numbers that were in the sky!|
|HM chicks - 3rd Sept|
Autumn is most definitely here. Dewy spiders webs are a sure sign!
Water vole trapping on Friday 6th September meant an early start. Well, early for me anyway. I was picked up at 6.45 and we arrived at our destination at half 7. We met R and P there and set to work. R is undertaking a PhD studying genetic differences between water voles in Sussex and Kent. Very interesting and very specialised. In order to track whether water voles stay in the same territories, individuals are captured in a trap, much like a big humane mouse trap. It is then determined if they have been captured before and if not, they are weighed, sexed and chipped. I was honoured to be able to help them out with this, and maybe a bit too happy to have been bitten by a cute little wv! Through gloves though, so maybe I wouldn't have been quite so pleased it it had drawn blood! R was particularly excited that a female had been recaptured from last year, and in the same trap! She hadn't moved at all. Obviously a nice safe section of reedbed with lots to munch on! Anyway, below are a few images from the very successful morning!
|Early morning sun on the reserve|
|Cutie in a pringles tube!|
|Released from the tube after being chipped|
|4 spot orb weaver - Araneus quadratus|