Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Glebe Meadows & King's Wood, Houghton Conquest.

John O'Sullivan and I visited Glebe Meadows and King's Wood earlier today. Glebe Meadows consists of unimproved neutral grassland, and King's Wood is a semi-natural ancient woodland. Together they constitute one of Bedfordshire's SSSIs (Site of Special Scientific Interest).

The north-south ride through the centre of the wood includes a more open area, though the shrub layer has grown quite a bit since it was last managed some years ago. There were several flowering bramble patches here: ideal for hoverflies. We found two beauties....

This is Criorhina berberina, and this kind of ancient woodland is its typical habitat. Criorhina species are generally scarce...so the fact that we found 3 or 4 flying about in the same area was quite exciting. It's a shame that the photo doesn't do it justice because it's a pretty stunning creature!

This one isn't particularly rare....but it's special because it's Volucella inflata (See June 25th, Woburn post from several days ago). At last!! Thanks for catching it and presenting it to me, John.

Hoverfly Species List:

Cheilosia illustrata; Chrysotoxum bicinctum; Criorhina berberina; Episyrphus balteatus; Eristalinus sepulchralis; Eristalis nemorum; Eristalis pertinax; Eristalis tenax; Eupeodes corollae; Helophilus hybridus; Helophilus pendulus; Melangyna comp/lab; Melanostoma scalare; Myathropa florea; Platycheirus albimanus; Platycheirus angustatus; Scaeva pyrastri; Sphaerophoria scripta; Syritta pipiens; Syrphus ribesii; Volucella inflata; Volucella pellucens; Xylota segnis; Xylota sylvarum. (24 species)

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