Creatures with two, four, six and eight legs (08/09)

A selection of creatures great and small from the garden and Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.

Video clip of snipe feeding.

I was pleased to observe a couple of snipe feeding on the mudflat opposite the Kingfisher Hide at ANR. The video clip (top) shows how busily they were foraging.

Also with two legs a grey heron having a good stretch and allowing the sun to reach its underwings. This may be a strategy to remove parasites.

I have observed similar sunbathing behaviour in the garden by dunnock and blackbirds. They do look a bit comical don’t they.

I have often commented on the paucity of waders in the ridge & furrow field at ANR but this is my first sighting of a four legged one. It is one of several rather splendid looking cattle introduced to the reserve for conservation grazing at which they are passed masters. The improvement in areas where they have grazed is very clear. I have included this shot to show that the grey heron only looks tall in comparison to some wildlife.

I’ve been busy in the garden with macro setting again. I’ve seen shield bugs before but this bright green one is new to me as is the hoverfly with whiteish rather than yellow stripes. The last image is clearly a fly but I still waiting for an ID. Has anyone any suggestions? UPDATE. I am informed via Twitter that the last images is a male Great Pied Hoverfly (Volucella pellucens). The females are more tubby & look a bit like bees. It lays its eggs inside the nests of wasps and bees where the larvae scavenge.

If you are an arachnophobe you may want to skip this section.

This rather splendid spider has been on this teasel head in the garden for several days and has clearly been successful in trapping prey. In the first image it looks like it’s snared a small hoverfly.

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