28.3.15.

Mixed Weather today. Early morning although overcast was quite mild. By about 10:30am the rain started to fall. With me concentrating on finding Oil Beetles today it seemed pointless to stop and get soaked. While at home on the afternoon, I noticed it brighten up, so decided to head on over HC again and take another look. Both the morning and afternoon produced some wildlife magic… Morning:- As always started the day off searching under the Wardens Office lights. Luckily I found one of those rarer moths, which Ken had seen by the pool a few weeks ago. Its called a Early Flat-Body (Semiocopis avellanella). So the day started well with this Highlight… IMG_5814 IMG_5815 There was also a March Tubic, which is good for comparison… IMG_5812 After taking the moth photos, I decided to start looking for the Oil Beetles. I wasn’t going to take anything for granted, and I would look hard at every Beetle I found. I did do a count on the Bloody-nosed Beetles with at least 21, and I would say 4-5 breeding pairs. After seeing loads of Bloody-nosed Beetles my tactic of looking hard at every Beetle paid off, when I noticed the grooved back of this Male Minotaur Beetle. I must have took 200 photos, this guy was like a Bulldozer and just would not stop walking. I did manage two decent ones, and the rest I binned. Love what look like long eyelashes on the 2nd photo, or does he use Curling Mascara, like my daughter? IMG_5817 IMG_5818 It looks like a Duck may have lost a battle with a Buzzard or Fox.. IMG_5820 IMG_5822 Afternoon Session:- On the afternoon I spent about 3 hours still searching for Oil Beetles. I was quite hopeful in the middle hour, when the sun actually came out and it was nice and warm. Unfortunately the weather did not aid my search for Oil Beetles, but I did see what must have been the most Bloody-nosed Beetles I have ever seen. With I would guess well over hundred. Also yet again I would guess at let 20 pairs, like these two. I do love the creamy like suckers on their feet. Save falling off I’d guess… IMG_5824 Now for my third highlight from today:- This time a female Minotaur Beetle (note the lack of horns, which the male has). I watched this event ages, and could not believe my eyes. She was rolling a Rabbit Dropping across the heath, and then came to a steep cut of earth. I would guess it would be like me climbing out of a quarry. The strength and the never give up attitude was incredible. She dropped it on several occasions, but kept going back for more. Eventually she managed to get the Poop out and started rolling it on the level once more. I really felt like applauding her. These next 6 photos doesn’t quite show how steep it was for her to pull the dropping up and out. But I think I described it well enough… IMG_5825 IMG_5826 IMG_5832 IMG_5833 IMG_5834 IMG_5835 Must have seen a thousand Wood Pigeon fly by this afternoon… IMG_5845 The grey skies never help birds in flight photos. But I did manage a better Lapwing photo this afternoon. I heard this one before I saw it, doing it’s Peewit call… IMG_5846

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