3 Aug 18

Mermaid Track and Rufus Castle

What a strange walk this evening, I managed to find the pink Meadow Grasshopper in its usual spot, but as I walked down towards Rufus Castle it started to rain. Well so I thought!!

I wasn't expecting to see much this evening, but it was quite surprising to see so many Marmalade Hoverflies on the wing. Obviously they appreciate the cooler conditions as the sun started to drop. Also seen were a few "blue" butterflies rested up on the grasses and Blackberry bushes, where I also came across lots and I mean lots of micro moths.

However the rain got me. Having left the Mermaid Track I walked down towards the lookout at Rufus Castle and as I walked under a Sycamore tree, so I heard and felt rain drops dropping on and around me. The clouds had been creeping in from the West, but too high for rain and then I noticed lots of insects on the ground and also on Max our relations Westie.

What were they. They were flying ants and there were hundreds of them falling from the Sycamore above me. Needless to say I managed to get out from under the tree and into the open pretty smartish. The funny thing was, a few metres back up the track I came across an ants nest that was absolutely deserted, apart from a couple of small entrances and a single flying ant.

The queen ants falling from the Sycamore were a lot smaller than the single queen ant I found at the nest, but as to what species they were I have no idea. Certainly a first for me having ants raining down on me!!

Here are a few images from this evening:

Just behind the old Mermaid Pub a scrawny juvenile Magpie.

So many Marmalade hoverflies out this evening.

And here it is again the pink Meadow Grasshopper.

I even managed to get right up close to it.......

......and take a short video of it.

A pair of "blue" butterflies.

This is quite a decent size ants nest and last year it exploded with hundreds of flying ants. This year....

........just a few small entrances in one corner of the nest.........

......and just one queen making an appearance.

However just a few metres down the track there were hundreds of flying ants falling from a Sycamore tree with a few landing on Max.

So many of these micro moths on the wing. Just a few millimetres long, I have yet to ID them. 


........in fruit.