Sunday, 17 May 2015

Raft spider walking on you might expect

I suspect that this chap (?) found on the Somerset Levels last weekend is a raft spider.  It seemed to be serene and unflappable, even with me pushing a lens into its face.  When taking photos its important to always get the eyes in focus....tricky with a spider!

As well as arachnids there were plenty of other sights and sounds to please the average naturalist on the Levels last weekend:

First hill looking down on the Levels from the north

Apple orchard now in full bloom

Brimstones have been on the wing for a number of weeks - their colour merging perfectly with the vegetation of spring.

 These two peacocks only had eyes for each other...

Green-veined white
There were plenty of summer (bird) migrants especially white-throats, scratching out their territorial song:

The hobbies (I counted at least 6 in one view) swooped freely through the air catching insects with hundreds of swifts and house martins, along with the occasional swallow.  An occasional cuckoo called, whilst sedge warblers pushed out their metronomic songs.  I had a good view of a bittern flying past a few times, and the usual marsh harriers hunting over the reedbeds.

A few dragonflies and damselflies have emerged too.  This broad bodied female chaser looked fresh and bright.  A blue male was also seen.

There are sooooo many amphibians on the Levels, including plenty of startlingly loud marsh frogs.  This small common frog thought that staying still would help to hide it.

Herons, bitterns and egrets have become quite a feature of these wetlands.  This great white has been ringed.

A great day - this is a good spring!

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