Julian kitted us out with nets and trays and we were soon learning how to distinguish mayfly larvae from dragonfly and damselfly larvae, flatworms from small black leeches, and diving beetles, Whirligig Beetles and Lesser Water Boatmen. Pond snails crept about in the weed and many very small creatures emerged after a few minutes of sitting in the tray. Most of these were were too small for us to identify but it was very satisfying to discover the myriad of life that exists unconsidered in a pond. Someone found a childhood favourite, stickleback, and we were pleased to see caddisfly larvae encased in twigs and very small stones with just their heads sticking out.
The fine weather brought out the butterflies: Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Marbled White, and dragonflies: Southern Hawker and Broad-bodied Chaser, and damselflies: Beautiful Demoiselle and the Common Blue Damselfly.
The Reed Warbler was very conspicuous by its song, also Raven, and two Common Buzzards circled on the thermals overhead. Among the wildflowers noted were Wild Carrot, Hop Trefoil and Purple Loosestrife. AM
Photographs © Richard Coomber