One of the spiders was familiar to me. Its elongated body and the way in which it held its legs – two pairs of legs fully extended forwards of the body and the other two pairs fully extended backwards – made it look like a fragment of grass stem. This was one of the two species of Tibellus spider known from the county. The pale straw colouration of these spiders helps them to perch inconspicuously on dried vegetation and ambush passing insects. Identification of this spider would definitely need a microscope, so subtle are the differences between the two species.
One species that would not need to be taken home for identification was a brownish-green bug, which had dropped into the net as I tapped a gorse bush. This was the aptly named gorse shieldbug, readily identifiable by its appearance and by the forward-pointing spine on its underside. As you might expect, it derives its name from an association with gorse and from the modified wings covering its back that give the appearance of a shield. Overwintering adults are brown in colour but come summer they turn a beautiful yellow-green. It had been a worthwhile visit, with a few more species to add to the list of those recorded from the site.