Windsor Great Park

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday 30 May 2010 17:26

WARNING, THIS BLOG CONTAINS CONTENT FROM OUTSIDE OF SUSSEX! Armed only with a camera and binoculars (as a license is required for any specimens to be taken) I went to Windsor Great Park for the first time today. It is truly amazing to see so many huge open grown trees and so much dead wood. The first bird I heard as I stepped out of the car was Ring-necked Parakeet and beyond that I heard a singing Spotted Flycatcher and that was about it for birds. I saw Black-headed Cardinal Beetle, Wasp Beetle (photo) and Speckled Longhorn Beetle. I also got this shot of a female Marpissa muscosa, a nationally scarce jumping spider and a big one too. However, it was the hoverflies that stole the show today. I saw this strange looking fly hanging around the base of an old Beech stump. It had yellow wings and silvery-yellow stripes on the abdomen with thick yellowish legs that dangled behind in flight. The sun went in and I got some good photos and after a quick phone call (thanks Mike!) I managed to figure out it was Caliprobola speciosa. An RDB1 saproxylic hoverfly known only from Windsor and the New Forest! Wow! I also saw a bee mimic hoverfly that was so convincing that I did a double take. I am pretty sure it was Pocota personata, an RDB2 saproxylic hoverfly also known from the area but I could not get anywhere near it. Through binoculars it looked right with a tiny peanut of a head on a big fat gooseberry of a body with very noticeable dark blotches in the centre of the wings. From the head the markings went; yellow, black, yellow then white. I cannot at this stage rule out Volucella bombylans until I get back to my books! An exciting trip out of county, something I rarely do these days and it has reminded me that looking elsewhere is really important for getting new ideas and fresh perspectives on managing nature reserves.

2 Response to "Windsor Great Park"

Unknown Says:

Hi Great Shot of the rare hoverfly Caliprobola speciosa. Being really interested in seeing and photographing this species at Windsor Great Park which is the best area to search in May. Regards Peter.

Unknown Says:

I thought I would add my email to my question.

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