Sunday, 16 August 2009
Just back from a very short weekend in North Devon at Nichola's parents. We travelled down early on Saturday morning, managing to not avoid the usual busy holiday 'changeover day' traffic, and came back somewhat more quickly earlier this evening. There were two main reason for the visit: we've left the kids down there for a week, and it was our nephew's 3rd birthday. Family matters aside, I was also looking forward to running a couple of traps in their large rural garden on Saturday night (as I have done with great success in the past), and a birding walk along the Taw Estuary around Isley Marsh on Sunday morning (one of my favourite birding spots whilst down there). My plans all went to shit when it started drizzling in the early evening. No point running traps to get wet. I then went to the only pub for a few miles - the Ring O' Bells in Prixford - and enjoyed a few pints of Barum Original and Tribute. I followed these with a couple of large Amaretto's back at the house and effectively ended any chance of getting up early to walk the estuary. Oh well - there's always next weekend when we go back to pick the kids up. I did have a mooch around the garden late this morning though, and checked the many Hart's-tongue Ferns that are growing out of walls. Haven't checked these before, but quickly found both feeding evidence and vacated pupal cocoons, and then a few loafing adults of Psychoides filicivora. Psychoides filicivora Hart's-tongue Fern Leaf upperside, showing blotch mines Leaf underside, showing pupal cocoons and vacated mines in amongst the sporangia I also found this wacky bright yellow spider on some orange flowers. I'm pretty sure it's a Flower Crab Spider (Misumenia vatia) which can change colour over a few days to suit their fowery surroundings. You can't see me - right?