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For previous years (2012-2019) see the links on the Whitlingham Bird List page.

WHITLINGHAM: A ringed goose, orchids and hoverflies

w/c 3rd July 2016

A couple of evening visits to Whitlingham this week turned up a range of interesting sightings. If you have visited recently you may have noticed that one of the Greylag Geese has an orange neck collar on with the code FKC. Neck-collars are sometimes used to mark geese because they are easier/more likely to be seen at a distance.  A few years ago there was a project to collar over-summering geese at Hickling, so we assumed that this was one of them, but it turns out that this one was ringed at Thetford, so it had made a rather interesting journey.

Whilst near the visitors barn I made a short diversion to see some flowering Bee Orchids. I usually walk along the broad edge so would have missed these - thanks to Clare and Lily for the email about them.

Walking between the barn and the broad I noticed that there was some feeding damage on a thistle. Looking closer I found the culprit, the larva of a Thistle Tortoise Beetle. They are very unusual things - worth zooming into the photo. They sometimes camouflage themselves with bits of dung or debris, but this one is uncovered.

Thistle Tortoise Beetle larva

Other insects from my second visit included two 'new to the patch' hoverflies - Epistrophe diaphana and Eupeodes luniger, Black-tailed Skimmers and the longhorn beetle Rutpela maculata.

Epistrophe diaphana - the black lines curve forwards on the side, and it was noticeably orangey-yellow in the field.
 Eupeodes luniger

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