Posted by Ian
Mixed bag of weather over the last two days,temperatures still well up but a change today with heavy rain in the afternoon which made walking in waterproofs very warm.
Early this morning crows were mobbing a large-ish low flying raptor over the dunes,got a couple of pics but were not clear enough to decide what it was.Yesterday got this shot
of a buzzard (see pic) ,have seen one a couple of times lately.This afternoon’s rain stopped me from taking my camera with me and a roe deer in the field and a cuckoo on the fence
at the top of the long pond got away without being snapped!
Another month down, they’re falling like twelve pins !!
The Tufted family are still complete but have moved to another pond, the ducklings are growing fast, see photo.
Caught the Cob napping this morning, must have had a hard night with the kids.
On the way down the long pond two Little Grebe were having a dispute or were in a hundred meter dash ( the female won)
Bob and Bri
All the large Hawkers have disappeared possibly due to the heavy rain but there are still a few Common Darters about and common Blue Damselfly.
The rain certainly not affected the number of Gatekeepers there are clouds lifting off the grass as you walk, did come across a lonely Painted Lady on the dispersal road.
The rain has also caused the Common Toadlets to begin there migration from the water to the grass and the paths are overflowing.
Bob and Bri
We have been watching lots of young birds at the feeders but the Bullfinches appeared to be a bit shy until the other day, one settled on a branch in the early morning sun and then was followed by a quickly maturing Robin.
This warm spell has produced an abundance of moths in the garden trap, a couple are attached.
Bob and Bri
Visited the tower early yesterday morning hoping to see the young and on arrival, found an adult stood at the bottom, normally in previous years they have been on top of the tank. After about ten minutes it took off and flew over the fields, only to return five minutes later but not carrying any food, it stood outside for a few minutes before dropping down under the tank, during all this time there were no calls from the young.
Patience is rewarded, and after a further twenty minutes another owl came out and this time it was one of the young, it may be the only one, and after about five minutes it returned under the tank.
As said above the nest has always been on top of the tank and when the young are close to flying they would stand in the opening, see old photo, but this year it appears to be underneath and there is not enough room for more than two to stand, so maybe there are others waiting to emerge and the one in the photo may not be the only one this year.
Pleased to see the family of tufted ducks, still with nine ducklings. Quite a few dragonflies around today, including 4-spot chaser, black-tailed darter and a brown hawker. Managed a rather poor photo of the dsrter on the path by the main pool – just couldn’t get close to it.
Some marsh helleborines in flower, though none in the area where there were so many last year, probably because it was flooded for so long over winter.
Few grayling butterflies along the edge of the shingle and the lovely little haresfoot clover flowering.
Lew told us he had spotted seven Sand Leeks on the old Vickers tip , not seen these before so had a look and took a couple of photos, and then had a wander around, for such a small area there is an abundance of flowers and took photos of some.
Lew, Bob and Bri
These very warm days and nights have brought out lots of butterflies and dragonflies, Lew normally does a count on his way around and these are his figures,
Yesterday – 320 Meadow Brown, 2 Small Heath, 8 Gatekeepers and 49 Grayling.
Today – 27 Gatekeepers, 1 Black-tailed Skimmer, 2 Emperor, 3 Brown Hawker, 3 Four Spot Chaser and 1 Southern Hawker.
Nearly all the Natterjack pond are now dry, when checking the one in the field, there was a stranded eel, unfortunately just missed saving it by a few hours.
The Sparrow Hawk young have now fledged, managed to catch a shot of the last one.
Bri and Lew
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As Ian said it was a few degrees cooler morning, enough to keep the Damselflies and Dragonflies tucked up out of sight but in the afternoon the temperature rose and on Mill Lane Pond there was an Emperor, Brown Hawker and a few Four Spots, managed a shot of the Emperor settled on some reeds. Also in the pond there were a shoal of Goldfish, photo not too clear due to the reflection, last year there were two Terrapins but no sign of them today.
The moth trap in the garden produced similar species as the previous night, a Garden Tiger, which is quite distinctive, caterpillars are often seen up on the reserve and Jenny posted a photo a week ago. Another very common day flying moth is the Silver Y and this time of year they are normally quite numerous on the reserve and easily distinguished by the Y.
Bob and Bri