Sexy Beast

Putative Speckled Bush-Cricket

What a critter!
My first Speckled Bush Cricket – a superb find by Trevor Davenport in his garden at Freshfield this week (and an equally superb photograph too Trevor, thanks for letting me use it).
Trevor kindly showed me this first for our part of the world yesterday…it brought back fond memories of the Oak Bush Cricket I found at Dempsey Towers back in 2010 (aw c’mon, it is July).
I love the way their antennae move out of sync….
I think I have a soft spot for the orthoptera (as grown-ups call grasshoppers and crickets) – who remembers the Roesel’s Bush Crickets partying down on Beacon Lane over at Spurn???
Thanks to Phil Smith for sending me this current distribution map for Speckled Bush Cricket in the UK too – I think a new dot should be going on it soon!

Speckiled Bush-cricket map

Okay, so July is a quietish time, but you can’t beat a new bush cricket.
I was down at Lunt Meadows this morning at the mesolithic dig site with archaeology-meister Ron Cowell.
It was mind-melting looking back 8,000 years across the juncus and pools, as I held bits of flint the hunter-gatherers cut with, and shards of the roasted shells of the hazelnuts they ate, while a female Marsh Harrier was quartering about around us.
Many thanks for the window into the past Ron.

P1120915

Emperor dragonflies, Common Darter and Black Tailed Skimmers, and while a family of five Kestrels were wheeling and hovering, Hobby was conspicuous by its absence.
Good numbers of Swifts feeding above the site.
The thistles and ragworts were dripping with Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and bees.
Marvellous.
Later in the afternoon the light was perfect for a seawatch inbetween the rains at Ainsdale, but the tide barely scratched 7.8 metres, with only Gannets and local tern traffic drifting by, and Grey Seals chilling in the shallows.
About 100 Common Scoters loafing way too far out to work with.

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One thought on “Sexy Beast

  1. Orthoptera seem to be on the move with climate change and are well worth recording. A particular interest of mine is the distribution of the Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus) which is ubiquitous in the south but seems to be largely confined to peat bogs in our region (e.g. Highfield
    Moss, where it is abundant). This association seems not to be mentioned in the literature.There are a few old records for the Sefton Coast but I have never found it here, despite years of looking. It is a fairly easy beast to identify, so keep your eyes open!

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