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Chironomid Midge

Nature Group Visit to Paxton Pits

Chironomid Midge by Ann Miles

Paxton 27 04 2023
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Five Nature group members braved the chilly and overcast conditions for a walk round Paxton Pits. One of our first experiences was hearing a Cuckoo call - so pleasing to know they have made it back. We heard others later and caught a glimpse of a pair flying past. Although it was only around 14 degrees there were lots of midges and Stone Flies around and the Black headed Gulls entertained us capturing them on the surface of the water while a Great Crested Grebe caught an emormous fish (Grebe, Sarah Kelman; B-H Gull,  Ann Miles)




John Kirkelionis took some great behavioural images of more common birds including Bluetit and Blackbird with its beak stuffed full of insects and another fish capture by a Great Crested Grebe



Mike Harris wanted to practise his flower photography but was a bit daunted when it was pointed out that the gravel pit environment encourages ephemeral annuals which flower early and very low down to combat summer drought conditions. (Germander Speedwell and Hartsease Pansy)



Three of us walked round other areas in the afternoon and were rewarded with this year's first record of a damse/dragonfly in 2023 - A variable Damsefly, a pair of mating March Flies (Bibio anglicus) and a Buff-tailed Bumblebee (images Mike Harris; Sarah Kelman)





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Below: Cormorants at Paxton Pits by John Kirkelionis