Hay Bridge, Rusland Valley, Cumbria 26th June 2010

Terry Williams was kind enough to take Dave Bryant and me back to Hay Bridge Reserve with some great sightings as always! Birds Of Prey included a displaying Osprey, a Honey Buzzard and the cutest Tawny Owl fledgling 🙂 A couple of female Ichneumon Wasps Rhyssa persuasoria with enormously long ovipositors were hanging around a woodpile probably looking for Wood Wasp larvae on which they paratisize. Longhorn micromoths Nemophora degeerella were dancing in the dappled sunlight of the woodland which also held Spotted Flycatcher, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Marsh Tit and Bullfinch. A Bird Cherry that I identified by its blossom on the last visit had a number of larval tents of the Bird Cherry Ermine Moth Yponomeuta evonymella although few caterpillars were present. Female Nursery Web Spiders Pisaura mirabilis were guarding their silken tents in the bracken. Black Beck Tarn was Odonata heaven with Common Blue, Azure, Large Red and a couple of Emerald Damselflies, Four-spotted Chasers, a pair of Emperor Dragonflies and an egg-laying Golden-ringed Dragonfly.

Out on the mosses (which were as dry as a bone with the drought) were further Golden-ringed Damselflies and Beautiful Demoiselles were flitting along Rusland Pool which also held a sorry sight of a dead Red deer fawn laying half submerged in the mud. Aquatic Plants were represented by Water Plantain and Water Forget-me-not. Birdlife included Lesser Whitethroat, Pied Flycatcher and families of Robin and Willow Warbler with young.  Plants on the mosses included a nice specimen of Heath-spotted Orchid, Lousewort that was past its prime and the aromatic shrub Bog Myrtle. A few Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries were joined by Large Skippers and a single rather shabby looking Small Copper.

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