The Black Clock

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday, 12 March 2011 16:31

I new today was going to be a good one when I had a singing Firecrest in the first mile! Followed up by a few Siskins over, several Red Kites, Reed Bunting and Stonechat (last two new to the site). I managed to find another Hawfinch too and some Med. Gulls flew over high calling. There was also a Lapwing on the deck which I have seen very rarely on these farm surveys. Just when I thought it was all over I bumped into  flock of 70 Yellowhammers which might be the biggest flock I've seen this winter. Finally, right by the car I heard a Chiffchaff! Also saw my first Comma and Brimstone.

The photo is the carabid known as the Black Clock Pterostichus madidus, a very common ground beetle that I have seen often but I usually see it with reddish legs. The rounded hind angles to the pronotum and the single punctures on the elytra (both visible in the above photo) help to identify the beetle. I'll keep trying until I find a species of Pterostichus that is not madidus! I don't have a clue where the name Black Clock comes from but I like it. I don't take many photos of carabids as they move so quickly!

Oh yeah, I found the remains of a Red-legged Partridge kill and took this photo of some flank feathers as they are pretty smart looking. Perhaps I'll go and look for Early Meadow-grass tomorrow...

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