An April walk around Rainton Meadows

Pale Tussock Moth (c) Mandy Bell

Spring sightings around the nature reserve

“This is a lovely time of year when the days are getting longer and the nights shorter.  As I walk around the Rainton Meadows, I no longer have to wear three or four layers of clothing and a warm hat but on the odd day last week- a t-shirt. 

At first glance, the dragonfly scrapes along the path leading past pond 2 seem to be empty of life but closer inspection reveals a hidden world of pond skaters, whirligig beetles and tadpoles; thousands of them feeding on the algae at the waters edge. No dragonflies as yet but I saw my first large red damsel fly at the weekend, basking in the sunshine on a branch overlooking Joe’s Pond. 

I was also lucky enough to find a pair of pale tussock moths on the bird screen at pond 4, so perfectly camouflaged that I almost missed seeing them.  The dark wavy cross lines on the wings and distinctive forward- facing furry legs made them easy to identify.”