It seemed a good place to do the Big Butterfly Count, as you can see from our list (and certificate) below.
|Our butterfly list|
There were some interesting insects about, including this huge Musk Beetle below (about 3mm long), who landed on our picnic chair! The Site Manager told us that it was Aromia moschata, a Eurasian species of Longhorn Beetle. The larvae of this insect live in the wood of pollarded Willow trees, and, as it happened, we were under the shade of just such a tree.
Harlequin ladybird larva, Harmonia axyridis
|We saw a few Harlequins|
There are three different species of Ladybird on this plant. We counted twenty 7-spots on this plant alone:
The dragonflies were magnificent, but most were on the wing and hard to photograph.
I think this one above is a female Ruddy Darter ...
... and here are a couple of males.
The dragonfly below is a male Southern Hawker, and perhaps one of my favourites.
There were plenty of Teasels, and the one below had a small spotless red beetle on one of its leaves. I have not identified it yet. Any suggestions gratefully received!
The wild flowers were wonderful, with a show of ragwort, ox-eye daisy, pink campion and sorrel.
In addition to the butterflies we counted, we also saw numerous caterpillars. I think these may be Small Tortoiseshell.
The Bewick's Swans left the reserve months ago now, but we enjoyed seeing a family of Mute Swans and a couple of Whoopers, like this one below.
We were just leaving the reserve when we noticed this partridge not in a pear tree, but on a post!
|We stopped for a short wander around Ely, with its lovely cathedral, known as the Ship of the Fens, before heading home.|
If you would like to log any UK sightings of Ladybirds or Butterflies you have seen, here are the websites:
- UK Ladybird Survey
- Big Butterfly Count (the survey has ended, but sightings can still be added until 31 August).