Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

Common Darter

Wednesday 1st September 1999

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garden carpet? A SMALL MOTH, camouflaged in lichen grey, lands on the house wall. A Garden Carpet perhaps? Carpet Moths are named for their intricate wing patterns; the larva of the Garden Carpet feeds on plants of the cabbage family, not on carpets.

shell of garden snail Fragments of the shell of a Garden Snail lie below it on the patio. We haven't seen a Thrush in the garden recently, so perhaps this is the work of a Hedgehog. Our neighbours offer one cat food this evening and we've seen droppings on the back lawn.

Common Darter We see a smaller dragonfly than our regulars, hawking over the pond. It is lighter in flight than the big Aeshnas, and seems to go in for more quick up and down strikes than they do. It rests on a willow, wings held slightly forward and we're able to identify it as the Common Darter, Sympetrum striolatum.

sunset The sunset is pink, gold and turquoise. A flock of between two to four hundred Lapwings flies across, but doesn't settle. In the other direction a pall of dark smoke rises over the Vulcanite factory a couple of miles down the valley. Tar has caught fire and 70 firemen are having difficulty stopping it burning, now that its alight.

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

E-mail; 'richard@daelnet.co.uk'

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