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Monday, 28 September 2015

Testing the Water 27 Sept 2015

A sunny September Sunday, and a chance for visitors to Riverside Valley Park to give thoughts and suggestions for the future of two of the valley parks in Exeter and the new flood relief works. For information about 'Testing the Water' see https://twitter.com/hashtag/TestingTheWater?src=hash.

(To find out more, there is to be a guided walk 'The Joy of Exe', looking at the River Exe flood works and their wildlife enhancements in a couple of weekend's time on  Sunday 11 October).
 
Activities yesterday included planting seed bombs, carrying out bug hunts, and, chiming with another of those putative 'things which really work' (we hope), a bug hotel, designed and built mostly by industrious youngsters throughout the morning and afternoon. 4 old pallets, 10m+ of old piping, a small roof's worth of old broken tiles and slates, air bricks, branches, hessian rags and a forest of old tree guards were recycled as insect and bug homes, furnished with bamboo canes, grass and soil, and topped off with a turf green roof.
A premier inn for bugs. Pic (c) Testing the Water twitter

Bug of the day would be Great green bush-cricket Tettigonia viridissima, the largest bush-cricket we have and quite rare, a Devon Biodiversity Action Plan target species. In the UK it has a southern distribution, including the south west, where the Devon coast provides a national hotspot. It might be an unusual find in the middle of Exeter, though there has been a previous record from the edge of Exwick. Both male and female were found on the day during John Walters' bug hunts.

Great & green. Pic (c) Testing the Water twitter

The loud call can seem to come from everywhere, said to sound like a machine gun, or a shrill computer printer, or a sewing machine. Yesterday it was putting up a good contest, or possibly might have been interacting with, the generator. Perhaps someone who has drunk a very strong coffee, sewing together a very long trouser leg.

More on GGBCs:
Tom Williams has recorded the call at Dawlish Warren
www.pterodaktyl.co.uk/2009/08/11/great-green-bush-crickets/

GGBC info at:
www.devon.gov.uk/dbap-insect-cricket.pdf
www.devonwildlifetrust.org/species/Cricket'2C+Great+green+bush+cricket/
www.orthoptera.org.uk/species/account.aspx?ID=10

Testing the Water poster

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