Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Ketton Quarry 04/05/2014

Took the opportunity to nip over to Ketton Quarry yesterday morning. With some decent sunshine and warmth I was fully expecting to find an Adder or two, but yet again not a sniff despite being there reasonably early. I did manage to find a few of these during the morning though ...

Common Lizard

The lack of Adders was only a minor disappointment though, as otherwise my efforts with the net, hand-searching around rocks and rabbit dung and peering around dead-wood brought a load of interesting things.

Here's a couple of views of part of the southern side of the reserve. The 'donkey paddock' is a basin with steep grassy banks on two sides. This compartment was grazed by donkeys at one point, hence the reference.

Looking down into the donkey paddock ....

.... and in the donkey paddock.

This area brought the most interesting new species for me, in the most unusual circumstance. I'd just put my net down and was trying to get photos of a Grizzled Skipper when I noticed a small shining dot on one of the many rocks. I thought it was a small beetle, but once potted it was clear that it was actually a very small shieldbug ....

Scarab Shieldbug (Thyreocoris scarabaeoides)

This is a generally local species in southern UK, mainly associated with violets growing on dry sandy or chalky spoils. There are no dots for VC55 on the NBN maps, and this is therefore quite probably a VC55 first.

I did manage to grab a Grizzled Skipper shot, and I did find a small shiny beetle on the rocks too ...

Grizzled Skipper

Chrysolina varians

On the other side of the reserve I found another interesting PSL tick, and again no dots currently on the NBN maps. This one was found under bark on rotting logs.

Aneurus avenius

This is one of the flatbugs. This is not dead or squashed, it really is very flat indeed and makes itself flatter by holding its legs sort of splayed out as well.

Around the wood piles I found another two male and one female Platystomos albinus, pretty much confirming that it is established here (I added this to the VC55 list a few weeks ago).

I also found a PSL tick beetle around rabbit dung that appears to also be a second VC55 record, again just from Ketton Quarry. Couldn't get this one to sit still on anything though so photo not great.

Onthophagus joannae

Other PSL ticks during the morning included a spider ......

Xysticus erraticus

a bee ....

Two-coloured Mason Bee (Osmia bicolor)

and another beetle ....

Anchomenus dorsalis

Other stuff seen during the morning were Red Kite, Green Hairstreak and Dingy Skipper, Slender Groundhopper, loads of other inverts and I was very pleased to find this one - the first I've seen since 2003 (one found whilst out moth trapping when I wasn't really bothered about beetles).

Rhagium mordax

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