August, 2011

Rainham Marshes

Rainham Marshes
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Rainham Marshes

  • Insect Afternoon : Quite a day

    After the rain clouds cleared and the air warmed up it became a perfect afternoon to get out bugging and over the next few hours we managed to find a fantastic array of critters for those attending the event.

    Darters and Migrant Hawkers zoomed up and down the paths.

    A female Ruddy Darter with a dented eye! (Me)

    Male Ruddy Darter note the pinched body and jet black legs (Matthew Foakes)

    and there were many types of Hoverfly and True Fly to look at including the two biggest 'hovers' in the country. I have posted images before but they are so great that here are some more from yesterday. Both are Hornet mimics.

    female Volucella inanis (me)

    male Volucella zonaria (me) Remember:  eyes touching = male, eyes apart = female

    At the other end of the scale was the delicate yellow-banded hoverfly by the name of Sphaerophoria scripta.

    Sphaerophoria scripta (me)

    We also found three species of Grasshopper and four different Crickets with Long-winged Coneheads being the most common.

    female Meadow Grasshopper (Me)

    and several different beetles including Darkling and Ground Beetles and literally hundreds of tiny red pollen beetles feeding in amongst the fruiting heads of the phragmites and nettles. Note sure what they are yet but am working on it!

    Pollen Beetles (me)

    We have another Insect Afternoon in September and there are still some places left on the Annual Bug Hunt next Sunday so if insect life is your passion. 


  • All a glow...

    Thursday night also gave us our best count of Glow Worms for the year with eight individuals found. The eery glow is quite something when you are out on the marsh at night! Our reserve is one of the best places in Essex to encounter this funky beetle. Hopefully we should be able to find some on our up and coming Bat and Moth Night walks that happen each Friday during September.  There are still places but you will need to book so give us a call on 01708 899 850

  • Terry's Tool

    A late afternoon quiz for you...

    Terry R brought in an interesting garden tool that he uncovered whilst clearing up at home. Now, I may love my gardening but I have not seen anything like it before.

    It resembles something like a Dutch hoe crossed with an ankle biting  bear trap.....

    Any suggestions would be greatfully received as Tel want to know if he has a 'Del Boy's watch' in his possession!