Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Swallows, Flying Ants, Black Nightshade etc

"Flying Ants seen within the mortar joints of the plinth"

Tuesday 22nd August 2017 - Vicarage Lane (or just off VLane eg: a bit of Slape! (Slape = Slippery) Burton In Kendal 

It was interesting to see these and I rushed back home for my camera.  I have seen plenty of Black Ants this year believe you me!  they have certainly not been the "best" of friends to our many orchids!  but this yesterday looked very interesting because you could actually see a sort of irridescent showing through their wing cases. Although it does not show in this photograph I did see one which was half the size again of these and I guess that could well have been a "queen ant" or lets put it this way I am sure it was the boss!

I was on my way to see my friend Alec over in Dalton hamlet and thought I would photograph a few ferns here and there because I know that would be right up his street! I couldn't help but check out these Polypodys which where in the hedgerows near the top of Vicarage Lane and again they are numberous as you get further over.  But to me they were not the regular more common Polypody and I suspected they may be "Interjectum" and later on after speaking with Alec he again said that he thought I may be right. With Interjectum they are pointed more at the tip and have a "semi delta shape appearance" (not pure Delta of course).  Here is a photo from yesterday to try and give you some idea.

I wonder if this is "Interjectum" ?

I just had to take the next photograph, I found it by chance whilst searching through some hedgerow in search of the "Black Spleenwort" but could I find the Spleenwort, but what I did find was these two little "rascals", obviously they are a type of hover-fly.

A pair of "Helophilus" Hover Flies

Checking out the nearby fields which are full of either maize or beets but always in the margins are some superb plants, although I guess the farmer might just think otherwise!  One of my favourites is the Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum) which always seems to come in with the seed.

Field full of beets and all sorts of plants growing in between (Click over to enlarge)

Black Nightshade
Black Nightshade No.2
Plenty of Black Nightshade

Not sure what this one is?
Now then what's going on with the Birds?  It becoming more obvious by the day that our beautiful birds are becoming restless and many are already on their way back!  I have heard from several friends who have been getting lots and lots of Tree Pipits, Spotted Flycatchers, Other Warblers and even Wheatears.

Getting back to yesterday I was just going into the hamlet of Dalton and could see many Swallows perched on the telegraph wires at Russell Farm, far to many to match up with the local breeding stock. It was just at this point I heard Alec and he was saying "I have just sent you a email with a photo of the Swallows, I counted over 75 on the lines only five minutes earlier".  It was great to see so many birds either perching or taking to the skies before coming back to the wires, lots and lots of birds which did seem to be growing by the minute!  We put our heads together and could only presume maybe they were birds moving down from further up North and joining in with the local party. Here below is a photo showing the situation which Alec managed to capture on camera.

Swallows on the lines at Dalton (75 ish!) Photo: Alec Greening (Click over to enlarge)