Interesting Observations

Saturday, August 4th 2012

It was warm. It was sunny.  It was dry.  It was not too windy!  Ideal for a stroll around to update the invertebrates on the observation board. 

Crossing the road, a brown twig turned out to be a small Common Newt, which was duly rescued and put into the undergrowth.  Newts only spend time in water during the breeding season, the remainder of the summer is spent on land.  Winter sees them hibernate under logs and stones.

Last year when Hurworth School visited in early July, we were able to show them nests of the spider Pisaura mirabilis with her young. We found our first nest with young today, many weeks later.  Brian was able to take this photograph before she moved away to protect her offspring.  Notice how she has her first two pairs of legs close together - it made them look thick and furry!

Spider Pisaura mirablilis

There are many more Teasels growing this year than last.  The leaves meet the stem and form a cup that fills with water.  Any insect that falls into here is digested and the liquid can then be absorbed by the plant.  Goldfinches feed on the seeds.

Teasels

Other observations included Blue Tailed, Large Red, Emerald, Common Blue and Azure Damselflies.   Two large dragonflies were chasing each other across the ponds.  Ringlet Butterflies and Small Skippers were on the wing.  Cinnabar Moth caterpillars were seen on some Common Ragwort plants.


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