Thursday, 3 July 2014

Other Fliers

I mentioned a few flying things yesterday and thought I would continue with the subject today. First, a photo from our walk around Mapperley Reservoir the other day. The Canada Geese there have been nurturing their young goslings for a few weeks now and it was nice to see the whole family out and about, grazing on the grasses of the picnic site nearby. The parent birds were ever vigilant, sometimes with one adult keeping watch, while the rest fed...
..and sometimes, both parent birds would keep an eye out for danger, while the youngsters (now almost as large as their parents), continued eating.
When we came down for breakfast this morning, a small insect caught my eye as it clung to the glass of our patio doors.  Closer inspection was needed to see it was an Ichneumon Wasp and an Internet search, revealed the species to be Pimpla hypochondriaca. A formidable looking insect, the long 'tail' which has the look of an enormous stinger, is actually an ovipositor, used for laying eggs deep within the stems of host plants.
Another garden insect was found when we returned from our walk on Tuesday morning.  Flitting about the Pyrocantha, this turned out to be a Lacewing of the species Chrysopa perla.  Like the Ladybirds I mentioned yesterday, lacewings are partial to good meal of aphids, so they are a welcome sight in anyone's garden. They are also rather attractive little insects - although Malcolm still needs some convincing of that!
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