The Chase Is On

Down at The Lake

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the water is thick with life

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and after The Chase of The Chasers the triumphant male

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has the territory to himself

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He spots what he is after

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and the chase is on

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Mating takes place on the wing, escaping capture on camera, which is a pity because:

“Mating in dragonflies is unique. The male first transfers sperm from near the tip of his abdomen to accessory genitalia near the top of the abdomen. He then grasps a female by the back of the head with his abdominal claspers (tandem position). The female curls the tip of her abdomen to meet the male’s accessory genitalia and sperm is transferred (the wheel position). This process can take a few seconds (in species of Chasers) or many hours (Blue-tailed Damselflies).”

Then the female immediately starts depositing eggs on the water surface

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We look forward to more chasing chasers next year.

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Rory the Rabbit

New arrival at Gribin Isaf

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Quickly at home in his temporary quarters

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Happy to receive visitors

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But some quick construction

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to give him a bit more…

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…privacy

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It takes two to chase

Not just one

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but another

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two

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Male Broad-bodied Chasers competing for our territory. Having two is a first for us this year.

Meanwhile, apart from the Ringlets

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who have been around in numbers on sunny days

other butterflies such as the Red Admiral

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and Painted Lady

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have only been here as individuals.

Some other small residents:

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Fly eating competition

The male flycatcher

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has installed (one of?) his mate(s) in a nestbox outside the polytunnel

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which provides him with a handy all-weather fly catching zone

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Plenty of insects here

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but he may not know he is competing against some fly-hungry plants

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Sunbathing time

Today was the first hot sunny day in the life of this juvenile Robin and he took full advantage of it

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Meadow Browns arrived in the Meadow for the first time this year

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And while the damsel flies have been around for some time

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the Broad-bodied Chaser also made its first appearance of the year

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as for us and the bees

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no time for basking.

Insects and other small treasures

We only need the windscreen test to know what is happening to insect life.

A recent analysis published in Biological Conservation reported “The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”. More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.”

So we don’t take for granted the smaller occupants of our plot

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Who knows what lives in the depths of the ponds, from where bubbles mysteriously rise

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On the surface, where waterboatmen row by

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there is evidence of metamorphosis

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Above fly a variety of damselflies

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One we have not seen before:

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The spider that chooses this spot

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can ensnare a colourful meal

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