Events have moved on - from a summery spring to an autumnal summer, and the combination of rain and warmth has produced a lot of plant growth, plus of course the change of species with the seasons and the development of a seeded meadow around one side of the pond. It's also important to remember that this is a 'working' pond i.e. it is used for small-scale irrigation. So, what has changed recently?
Well, as expected there are more dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata) such as the blue-tailed damselfly (Ischnura elegans) below with its bright blue 'tail-light' - plus some large nymphs which must be close to emergence. Fingers crossed for some good photos of these, including some exuviae (shed skins).
|Blue-tailed damselfly Ischnura elegans|
|Lymnaea stagnalis feeding on algae and plant material.|
|A fly (with the silvery jowls, I think it's the common Greenbottle Lucilia caesar) guarding a dead water-snail. It almost appears to be challenging me to try and take the snail, and certainly didn't want to abandon its prize.|
|Once I was no longer considered a threat, the fly resumed its business - presumably feeding as I saw no evidence of egg-laying behaviour.|
|A pair of 2-spot ladybirds Adalia bipunctata busily making more ladybirds on the head of a reedmace plant - important given the threat posed by the invasive Harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis.|
|Following the ladybirds' example (no, I'm not obsessed, honest - they just don't move much when mating, and so are easier to photograph), a pair of Donacia reed beetles.|
|Moving onto spiders, ventral view of a female Tetragnatha extensa - note the large divergent jaws.|
|Cautiously approaching (remember the female's jaws), a male T. extensa - as well as his own large jaws, he has two swollen palps at the front - modified structures used for sperm transfer. Onward brave spider!|