Four Cormorants circled the 'workings' several times before deciding it was OK to land. They landed in the water and immediately started fishing. Working together as a team they dived many times in several areas in the western end of the workings. During the15 minutesor so they weren;t seen to bring and swallow any fish at the surface. They finally gave up and movrdto the gravel bank amongst the gulls to spread their wings to dry. After a short time they flew off. Cormorant should be present more over the coming months, using Tices Meadow to rest and preen after fishing sessions at Badshot Lea Ponds or Tongham GP.
Also new today was a juvenile Great-crested Grede, prehaps the result of successful breeding nearby. It fished in several areas whilst avoiding the resident Coot. It again was not seen to catch a fish. This is only the 22nd record over the past 6 years, first being seen on May 16th 2007 and not being seen since April 16th 2011. So looks no fish or very few survived after most of the water was pumped out during the restoration. Over the coming years there should return with eggs being brought in on the Geese/Ducks feathers.
The last returning winter migrant was a single Common Snipe seen in the meadow behind the 'Bike Pool'. Last seen in the Spring on April 3rd.
Still some BREEDING NEWS with a female Mallard with five small ducklings seen in the 'workings' and a pair of Moorhens feeding three small chicks along the River Blackwater.
With the temperature up to 25 degrees todays a few more Butterflies were on the wing. By far the most common Butterfly is still the Ringlet. Several Red Admirals were seen feeding on the Blackberry blossom and Large Whites were seen on the viewing bank with Large Skippers.
A Black & Yellow Longhorn Beetle Rutpela maculata was seen today and is easy to identify. At least four species of lesser Water Boatmen and four species of Water Beetles were found in the pools but have yet to be identified.
to be continued.....
Sunday, 15 July 2012
After some internet research this beetle was identified as a Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle (Agapanthia villosoviridescens) A pair mating were seen on a Hogweed leaf near the 'Dragonfly Pool'
In the research it has been mostly reported above the Thames Valley and to the east.
Golen-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle Agapanthia villosoviridescens ©Dluogs
Repoted to the national recorder of Longhorn Beetles Dr.Rejzek (Martin.Rejzek[AT]jic.ac.uk)His reply was "Agapanthia villosoviridescens seems to be expanding its range in the UK. I am getting increasing numbers of records from outside its traditional strongholds in East Anglia".
It also looks like it is the first time reported in the Blackwater Valley.