30.4.15. Last Day of April.

Nice sunny late afternoon, with slight breeze.

Had the pleasure today, of having a walk with Scott Petrek. Scott is the Monitoring Officer at Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. I must say..its always nice having someone very knowledgeable, and who also cares for Wildlife sharing a walk. Turned out to be a good couple of hours too, which always helps.

First thing we found was a Wolf Spider (Trochosa terricola), which actually ran for cover under Scotts boot…

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Last time I saw a Bloody-nosed Beetle Larva, it had a Blue Shieldbug feasting on it. This one was moving quite fast (for a Bloody-nosed Beetle Larva) across the path…

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Only got a few photos of this Nomada Bee, before it took cover in the Bilberry. Good news for me though, its one I have not seen before. When I looked at its length and thorax it looked different to the other Nomada Bees. So although I did not manage a great photo, I’m pretty happy at finding this Nomada Ruficornis. I will now keep my eyes peeled for a better photo opportunity…

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With me working mornings this week, by the time I get to the SWT Wardens Office, most of the moths have flew off. So it was a nice bonus finding this Beautiful Yellow Underwing on the Bilberry….

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This is a real highlight for me. Firstly I would like to thank Gary Pascoe, who ran after me and Scott, to tip us off about a Wood Warbler in the woodland, near the Heathland Corridor. So with Gary’s instructions of where it was, we set off in search of the bird. First time up the woodland path it was quite dull, so the bird was not singing. But we did spot a Woodcock flying towards the bottom end of the Corridor. So feeling a bit disappointed, we carried on with our walk. After doing a circuit of the Island Pool and discussing how to monitor Dragonflies this year, we decided to have a go at the Wood Warbler again. I was just kneeling down to photograph a Longhorn Moth (first of the year) which I missed. When Scott pointed to the air. He had heard the Wood Warbler singing. Must say with me being slightly deaf, I did not hear it at first. But when we got closer, I did have the pleasure of hearing that beautiful spinning coin song. Being high up in the trees, this is not a great photo, but for me its a Cracking Record Photo…My first for HC. This also takes my Highgate Common Bird Year List to:- 61…

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Scott spotted this Common Frog, and at the Bottom pool, we saw Tadpoles. Amazingly a few weeks ago the Frog Spawn was going down the footpath, where the pool was overflowing. So we decided to have a look in the puddles left on the path. There were even Tadpoles that had hatched in them…Nature at its best….

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Close to the bottom pool, there was this Male Cuckoo. I have really started to love the afternoon light, and I’ve always quite liked dappled light…

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On the way back to the Wardens Office we spotted a few Green Tiger Beetles take off, from one of the Scrapes which the SWT create. Scott called me back, he had spotted this one, in a life or death situation with a Black Ground Beetle (yet unidentified). The Green Tiger Beetle seemed to have a tight grip on its prey, with those powerful looking white mandibles. Took loads of photos, but I think with the struggle there was way to much movement. Eat your Hearts Out…Pacquiao v Mayweather..this is a real fight.  P.S. when we left the Black Ground Beetle had managed to break free. So perhaps the Green Tiger Beetle went hungry…

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Oops! Missed one…Sent this Bee off to BWARS for ID…

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