Thursday, 31 March 2016

Post 398 - Brilliant Beetles at Nature-filled Nosterfield

Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) flowers
Hey everyone, well it is a gorgeous Spring day today very bright and sunny so we just had to get out. We didn't know how far we'd get with Dad and his knee recovering from his operation so we went to Nosterfield so we could leave him in a hide while Mum, Esme and I went for a walk.

Well we got to the reserve just before dinner and it was really busy. It's normally quite a quiet place but I guess as it was such a lovely day the car park was almost full. I've not seen it busier except for the open day last year! Still, there's lot of space to spread out.

Bloody-Nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa) 
I had a peek on the main lake before going for a walk. there was lots of activity. I don't know why but I saw a Black headed Gull flying through the air chasing after a Lapwing. There were Avocets, Curlews, Teal, Oystercatchers and more Gulls milling about the lake and a few Buzzards circling high over head.

There were quite a few flowers around too. I noticed the violets starting to come out but the most easy to photograph was this lovely Blackthorn (I think) as it was close to the path and just at my height. It is a very pretty flower though.

Posing on a twig
Cereal Leaf Beetle (Oulema melanopus)
One of the things I had hoped to see today was one of my favourite insects. I've not seen them at Nosterfield before but I knew they were found here as I've met the Entomologist who does surveys of them here. What I'm talking about is the fabulous Bloody-Nosed Beetle. I did a post on these before (Day 277 - Beautifully Natty and Bonny Bloody-Nosed Beetle) so you can see facts about them there. Well I wasn't disappointed as I managed to find two walking along side the path, they are quite easy to see as they are so big and black. As they just slowly plod along I got to take a good few photos and a few people walking past stopped to have a chat about them. These little creatures seem to fascinate everyone.

Well on the way back I stopped to have a look at the dipping pond too. That was a nice spot to stop too as I found two other beetles. One I think is a Cereal Leaf Beetle, it's a tiny but pretty little beetle but one that seems to have more information on the internet about what a pest it is than anything. If they build up into big numbers they can be a problem to cereal crops. I only saw one today and it didn't seem much of a pest.

The other beetle I saw I thought might be drowning as it looked like it was struggling on top of the water. After a closer look I thought it was probably a water beetle but I wasn't able to identify it but I got some help from @BlattaMann and  who identified it as a Dung Beetle, so it was just as well I fished out of the water.
My mystery water beetle turned out to be the the Dung Beetle
Aphodius prodromus

Well that was about it today, a lovely walk and nice to see the insects coming alive again.

By the way. Nosterfield now has a lovely new website which you can see at

Hope you enjoyed,


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