With the warm, humid days of spring upon us the activity in the insect world seems to be increasing on a daily basis. A late night due to a spot of moth trapping brought the bonus of 5 new moths for our garden including Scorched Wing and Spectacle( and yes it does look like it is wearing spectacles).
A walk around Branton Ponds next morning produced the day shift and our first Damselfly of the year in the form of Common Blue.
Common Blue Damselfly
What was even more interesting was a Scorpion Fly(probably Panorpa communis) which is in the same group of insects as Lacewings, apparently the male at mating time is sometimes killed by the female, so to placate her he brings her a small ball of spit which to Scorpion flies is the same as a bunch of roses or a box of chocs, who says romance is dead.
Bank holiday Monday and we decided to get as far away from the coast as possible so we headed to Holystone Woods,when we arrived the air was alive with bird song. We could hear Chiffchaff,Willow Warbler and Redstart, the ground was carpeted with Violets and Primroses but as we reached the oak woodland we could hear the distinctive call of Wood Warbler and soon we were in the middle of his territory, as he sang every part of his body shook. Moving on we left the oak woods and headed for more open Birch woodland where Tree Pipits called from the tree tops and parachuted from the sky, a few more species were added including Great Spotted Woodpecker, Cuckoo and Jay but nothing could eclipse the shear magic of the little sprite of the woods.
We were on our early morning dog walk around the west pond at Branton, the air was thick with Sand Martins as they skimmed the surface, a group of male Tufted Ducks squabbled and pairs of Shelduck flew around protecting their territory from intruders. As we walked along the pipeline Blackcaps and Garden Warblers piped out their similar calls and Whitethroats sang from the bushes.
We were about half way along when a ghostly shape came out of the mist in the shape of a Barn Owl hunting for it's breakfast, or optimistically a nest full of youngsters, we watched for a few minutes before it glided off towards the east pond. At this point we happened to look up and there above us heading east was a single Common Tern a great sight so far inland and a first for the site, after a spring Arctic Tern last year what will be next, we can only hope.