We went to Apedale just after breakfast today. There were a few April showers, but there were a few sunny spells.
This is the first thing that we saw, an arion ater or black slug:
It was quite the weather for slugs, and here’s a Spanish slug (arion vulgaris). It’s a highly invasive species and regarded as a pest:
While we were looking at the slugs, Danny spotted this:
It’s a pair of crane flies, mating. We think the species is tipula vittata, but we can’t be totally sure.
There was loads of these small white flowers growing in damp ditches:
This is a wavy bittercress (cardamine flexuosa).
It was interesting to see what goat willow catkins look like after they have flowered:
We went to our favourite pond where we sometimes see newts. We saw one newt (the first one of the year) on Monday 23rd. But all we saw this time was lots of pond-skaters.
There were loads of horsetails growing today…loads and loads of them!
Horsetails are very ancient plants, having existed since the time of the dinosaurs.
Mum spotted this tiny black caterpillar munching on some grass:
After some research, we discovered that it is a caterpillar of the Timothy Tortrix moth (Aphelia paleana). It’s called Timothy because one of its main food sources is Timothy grass.
There were a lot of drone flies loudly buzzing around a patch of wet moss.
This is a common drone fly. It’s called a drone fly because its buzzing noise is so loud.
Here’s an alder beetle chewing away at the brand new alder leaves. We’re quite surprised to see one of these so early!
It’s nice to see all the spring colour coming to the landscape!
As well as that, we were quite disappointed not to have heard a cuckoo as we heard our first cuckoo of the year on Monday the 23rd of April. We didn’t see any dogs either!