At the start of the week, Carol and I set off for Rye Levels to check on life in the gravel scrapes and ditches. I knew that we were probably a little late to see Marsh Helleborines at their best and so it proved to be the case with only one plant still sporting a few fading flowers. Star species of the day was the Marsh Frog (Rana ridibunda) several of which were basking amongst the weed in the ditches.
Marsh Frog (Rana ridibunda)
On Wednesday, I met up with Bob on Ashdown Forest to search some of the acid pool margins that are hidden away in the heathland, to see what might be emerging. These pools rarely disappoint.
Raft Spider (Dolomedes fimbriatus).
This seven-legged individual is displaying what I consider to be fairly typical fimbriatus markings (in comparison to D. plantarius) with a pronounced orange cardiac mark down the centre of the abdomen and with broad, well defined white bands along the abdomen sides. However, you can get quite similarly marked individuals of plantarius and less well marked specimens of fimbriatus which can be very confusing!
Black Darter (Sympetrum danae) (male)
Black Darter (S.danae) (teneral female)
Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea) (freshly emerged female)
Brown China-mark (Elophila nymphaeata)