Mon 29/08/16

We took a trip down to Leybourne Lakes near Maidstone today. There are plenty of water birds around of course, here we see a pair of swans with a cygnet, being accompanied by a couple of coots. But there were two birds way in the distance that I couldn’t identify; I took some heavily zoomed shots, and these stripy-faced birds are the result. Not sure what they are; an immature great crested grebe apparently looks like this, but I didn’t see any adult grebes of any kind on the lake.

A pair of swans with a cygnet and a couple of coot outriders
A pair of swans with a cygnet and a couple of coot outriders

I have since had corroboration from Philip and Matt, so it looks like that’s what they are. Tut tut. Parents letting them go out alone. The grebes I mean, not Philip and Matt.


Above and top-left:  Immature great crested grebes
Above and top-left: Immature great crested grebes
Caterpillar of the buff-tip moth Phalera bucephala, a generous couple of inches in length
Caterpillar of the buff-tip moth Phalera bucephala, a generous couple of inches in length

I found this huge caterpillar on a scrubby little willow by the lake. This is the larva of the buff-tip moth.

 

I found a large number of these on a tree in someone’s garden in Swanscombe a couple of years ago, but they had all gone before I was able to get back and take a photograph, then the following year the tree had gone!

 

I identified them retrospectively as buff-tip moth, but I was never quite sure, so it’s nice to catch up with one again!

 

And to finish off with, here is a Larinioides cornutus spider, which is a fairly small and common orb-weaver. I have recently found out that they are sometimes known as the furrow spider, or occasionally as the foliate spider. I think these are both modern attempts to give it a common name, as spiders are almost all known exclusively by their Latin names, unlike moths, which have some wonderfully imaginative apellations!

Furrow spider Larinioides cornutus
Furrow spider Larinioides cornutus

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