Friday 29th June

Yesterday we noticed very small beetles skimming around the pond on top of the water, Bob identified them as Whirligig beetles, an apt name. Today managed to get a shot of them, apparently they move through the water to disturb the surface to find food.
Came across a few Silver Y moths today, named after the Y on the wing, they are day flying and usually come a great numbers but with the weather this year we will have to wait and see.
This afternoon there were a flock of Black-tailed Godwits on the shingle spit in the long pond, normally we only see the odd one, so it was a pleasant surprise.

Bob and Bri

Thursday 28th June

Only a couple more days and we will be in the sunny month of July.
This wet weather does have some benefits, if not for us, it has brought out the common toadlets, they are all over the paths and are only the size of a bluebottle, only way you can notice them is when they move, see pic.
Another animal is the aquatic worm commonly used in medicine, the Leech, The ponds are full of them and this wet spell has drawn them out, plashing in the water seems to attract them, it may be a sign of a possible meal.
The other day we came across a Green Lacewing, they are very delicate and brightly coloured.
Came across four young moorhen on a fence, they always look out of place in trees and fences with there long legs and claws.

Bob and Bri

Wed June 27th

Posted by Ian

Another typical 2012 June morning,lots of cloud and rain:-The BAE fire engine was doing its usual bird scaring bit before the 7am flight, but this morning it was chasing a Hare down the runway and the poor little devil ran the full length before disappearing into the rough.I fully expected it to spread those long ears and take to the skies,but at least it was safe.

Monday 25th June

Well the weather finally warmed up. Following on from yesterday, the Kestrel was hovering 50 mt from where we saw it, but today it caught a vole/mouse, see shots, the one showing it transferring the catch is unfortunately slightly blurred.
In the afternoon found some Four Spots and also Black-tailed Skimmers, while watching them, a damselfly on the water caught my eye, it swam across the surface until it reached some blades of grass, it then turned upside down and began to crawl down the blade under the water until it reached the bottom about 100 mm and began laying eggs. I have never seen this before, it remained under all the time and it was still there when i left.

Bob and Bri

Sunday 24th June

A brighter day but still managed to be out when it rained. A few more birds to be seen after the downpour over the last couple of days.
Put the remains of a hock on one of the trees near the feeders on Friday, and it was completely picked clean on Saturday morning, we have seen a stoat a few times climb the tree to get to food, but unfortunately missed it this time.
On the way back this morning we watched a Kestrel hovering for about 5 minutes, it was too busy concentrating on it’s prey it just ignored us, and managed to get a couple of shots.

Bob back from hols and Bri

June 22nd

Posted by Ian

Heavy rain and wind,seems a typical summer day!,walking along the right hand path came across a short eared owl perched on a fence post.It was hunched down looking wet and miserable,and I got within arms length before it looked at me for a few seconds then reluctantly flew off.

Thursday and Friday 21-22 June

This is great weather for mushrooms, just found the odd one at the moment but should be plenty shortly.
Fed the swans and cygnets, only three now but they are growing fast, see pic.
Had a look at last years pics at this time of year, and found most of the same except for a field vole visiting the area around the feeders see pic and an unusual caterpillar in my blackcurrant bush, think it was a Pheonix.
The other day managed to take pic of adult Pipit with food but last year managed a shot of a young one.


Wednesday 20th June

I can’t believe this is the longest day, nobody has told summer, it better get it’s skates on !!
I was at Gillies this morning before walking up the reserve and found the local Barn Owl doing a bit of sun bathing on top of a telegraph pole, pic is not too clear due to the bushes in the shot. Also the ducklings were on dry land having a good feed, earlier a Heron was on a tree overlooking the pond, they will need to be kept hidden otherwise they will join there mate.
I met Lew on the way round and we came across a few moths that turned out to be July Belle, very similar to the the Lead Belle but only have a small black dot instead of the comma, they are fairly scarce for Walney. Another more common moth was the Yellow Shell.
In the afternoon went back to find the Emperor Dragonfly but did not see it but did fine my first Common Darter of the season.

Tuesday 19th June

Another beautiful day, and at last things are starting to move, watched a Meadow Pipit feeding it’s young couldn’t get a pic of the young ones but managed an adult.
Lots of Four Spot dragonflies about and saw my first Emperor this year, on one of the ponds off 13 corner lane. also a few Blue-tailed damselflies see pic.
Whilst checking pools for natterjack tadpoles came across a few dragonfly larvae, pics are of two different species, anybody know what they are, they look built to consume anything in their path.
There are a few day flying moths about, one of which is the Latticed Heath see pic.
To end on a good note after yesterdays blog came across a new brood of Mallard ducklings on Gillies pond.


Monday 18th June

What a glorious day at last, this warm spell has brought a few dragonflies and butterflies out, hopefully there will be a few more before the weather changes on Thursday.
The Marsh Cinquefoil is now blooming around all the ponds, from a distance it looks bit dull but when up close it really a pretty flower see pic.
On the north most small pond there were a lot of Common Blue Damselfly, usually this pond fills up with hundreds but the numbers this year may be down due to the weather, see pic of mating couple.
Walking through the fields the swifts were feeding and managed to catch a shot of one passing, they are so built for speed.
Lastly, while talking to Ruth we both watched a Heron come in to land on the long pond and immediately pick up a mallard duckling and down it in seconds. These poor things endure the weather, Herring and Lesser Blackback Gulls, and today it became dinner because the Heron has gone off fish. See pic.