Over the last few days we have seen 40 – 50 of Goldfinches feeding on the thistles between the feeders, it appears to be another good year.
Around the feeder area there are a few young Bullfinches in addition to the adults, hoping it has been a good year for them too, we will know more accurately once we start feeding again.
There has been a family of 10 – 12 long tail tits moving from willow to willow on two consecutive mornings.
A Short Eared Owl was out hunting again this morning, over the airfield and the area south of the tip, it was a lot darker than the one we have seen previously.
I saw my first Brown Hawkers on Friday around the pond off Cows Tarn Lane, but they did not settle, hope to get a photo shortly. But I did manage to take one of a Male Emperor, in flight over the car pond, not the best quality but it is identifiable.
A pair of swifts were out again today over the south end of the long pond, so I had another go at a photo, definitely the clearest upto now.
Bob and Bri
This morning there were a group of Mallard ducklings on one of the Islands, we have not seen them before, the pic has been enlarged and you can clearly see the rings, looks as though they have just been released.
Bob and Bri
This morning there was a family of mallard on one of the small ponds, they are about a week old and may do better because it’s away from the heron.
This afternoon was quite warm and new common darter were everywhere, also the Gatekeeper butterfly was taking advantage of weather, see pic.
The Cinnabar caterpillar is now on the Ragwort, glad there is something that will reduce this terrible weed, see pic.
The Yellow Bartsia is out in full bloom, there are three large areas in the long pond, two on an island, require wellies to cross but adjacent on the west bank there is another large area, see pic.
Finally, Jenny said she had found the Wintergreen, so had a look today and there are about 12 plants in the dip behind the butts, I had a look in another area that was covered by about 100 plants last year but it’s all overgrown, with no sign of any Wintergreen.
Wednesday, 25th July
Quite a damp experience, walking round the reserve today and the horseflies were out in force! At the fishing pool, saw a reed warbler with a beakful of insects, so still feeding young. It flew into an area at the north end. Also heard a grasshopper warbler singing close to the car when I left around 11.30. Otherwise fairly quiet on the bird front.
Found a few round-leaved wintergreen – the first time I had seen this plant. Thanks, Ian, for sending me to the right area. Found about six plants in one small area and got a few not very good photos.
Well I was up early this morning with the dogs, had to be up the coast for 10.00, but it was worth it. Only yesterday talking to Bob we had not seen any deer for quite a while and normally would have spotted a doe and fawn, and this morning there she was with two, but unfortunately the shot only shows the one, the other was hidden in the grass.
Our walk this morning was very quiet,. little or no wind but quite a lot of drizzle, the toadlets were out again, see pic, we thought they were froglets but on closer inspection they are covered in spots.
In the afternoon it was full tide so on the way back I went along the beach, lots of Oyster Catcher flying over towards the north of the Island and one or two on the shore line. Came across a couple of Ringed Plover that just moved along the top of the beach as I walked along, see pic.
Also there were a family of Meadow Pipits feeding in the sand dunes, see pic of youngster.
Lastly came across the hardy annual that appears this time of year when schools are on holiday, is there a link ??? "RUBBISH", that’s not a comment. see pics.
Bob and Bri
Hi, I just started my walk this morning when immediateley there was a kestrel some 10 yards away from me hovering at about 12 ft it soon drifted away but continued hunting. As I walked between the feeders I disturbed a charm of about 50 goldfinch that had been feeding on the numerous thistles growing there. They flew off noisiliy as if they were rebuking me for spoiling their meal. I put some bread and a few seeds on the small table in the trees at the feeder and to my surprise it attracted 3 male bullfinch- 2 female bullfinch, a young robin, a young blackbird and about 3 young blue tits. In the summer months Bri and myself stop stocking the various feeders we have here. However we still bring a bit of bread and other scraps when we have them but not on a regular basis so as not to discourage the birds from naturally sourcing their own food.
The heather is now beginning to blossom and in the next few weeks we will have its beautiful scent lingering in the air.
On the usual morning walk Bob found 2 Garden Tiger moths together in the grass, see pic. It is the first time we have seen them alive, normally all that is found are the wings after being eaten, even when we have moth traps they have not been caught. They must be plentiful, going on the number of caterpillars found, which are one of the Cuckoo’s favourite.
In the afternoon there were quite a few Common Darter dragonflies but no sign yet of any Hawkers.
Over the long pond the swifts were catching plenty of insects, and have tried to take a good pic but it is very difficult, but I did notice that they seem to inflate the throat see pics.
Also took a pic of a fine specimen of Angelica, growing at the south end of the long pond
Bob and Bri
Some pics did not arrive, try again.
Bob and Bri
This wet spell has brought out the Common Toadlets, all along the path running up the side of the long pond is covered with them, there are that many it looks like the ground is moving.
Another little creature is the small striped snail, yesterday the paths were full of them, see pic.
Came across a Kestrel on one of the airfield gate posts, it must have been very comfortable, it never moved. see pic.
Have been watching a Kestrel’s nest with young, they have now fledged, but pics taken a few days ago, the last two to fledge were looking very misrable in all the rain.
Bob and Bri