Unfortunately we have a problem with our electric gate at the moment. Therefore until we can get it fixed, we are having to operate it manually - the gate will be open between 09.00 and 17.00 daily until further notice. We are working to get the issue resolved as quickly as possible.
We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience.
For any further information please call the office on 01636 893611.
A while ago I reported on the discovery of a scarce beetle species here at Langford, going by the name of Panagaeus bipustulatus - sorry, no English name for this one! This is a wetland specialist ground beetle (Carabidae) and quite a striking one too. Being a scarce species, I was rather excited about it's discovery, however was even more surprised when the specimen was re-identified a few weeks ago as something else....
P. bipustulatus has a rarer relation - known as Panagaeus cruxmajor - a Red Data Book species and until the early 2000's known only from 4 sites in England. Being so rare (and extremely similar to bipustulatus), our specimen was dismissed as the commoner of the two. But we have indeed been proved wrong and in fact have confirmed that our beetle is cruxmajor (that'll teach us to dismiss things as the 'commoner' species!).
P. cruxmajor is also thought to be a wetland specialist feeding on snails, however being so rare there hasn't been a great deal of research performed on the species in the UK! It is around 8mm in length and is distinctive not only by it's large size, but also by the orange elytra (wing cases), with a black cross across them. They are also quite 'hairy', with stiff bristles covering the upperparts of the exoskeleton.
The discovery of this species is very exciting for an entomologist such as myself (in fact several of us are over the moon!), however it represents far more than that. It proves that our wetland habitat creation is working to attract specialist (and very rare) species and indeed Panagaeus cruxmajor is now the rarest species we have on site!
Many thanks to Charlie Barnes and Mark Telfer for ID information on the specimen.
It's been a couple of weeks since the count, but we haven't forgotten March's Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS), this month completed by volunteers Matt Marsh, Stuart Carlton and Mark Dawson. Here are their results....
100 tufted duck
13 mute swan
4 Canada goose
2 greylag goose
6 great crested grebe
2 little grebe
2 little egret
3 green sandpiper
120 black-headed gull
12 common gull
Migrants are starting to come through now, with the first sand martins, little ringed plover and wheatear on site in the last 10 days. Avocet have been seen and the first chiffchaffs are singing away in the scrub around the silt lagoons.
Back at Langford for the summer! Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)