Swans

Swans – the new family are still doing well, keeping them up the top end of the pond appears to be working.

Butterflies – this year has been extremely poor but at the moment there is a glut of Gatekeepers.

Swallows – they have had a good year going on the number flying over the reserve.

Goldfinch – it has been a poor year at the feeders and at the moment they are just starting to gather in small flocks, found one feeding on some thistle this morning.

Barn Owls – It’s been a poor year on the reserve, with no young and it looks as though there is only one in the tower at Gillies.

They say the Barn Owl population follows the four year cycle of the vole population and last year was very good so maybe it’s at the lowest level this year.

Bob and Bri

Small birds

After a heavy night of rain, three different birds are enjoying the warm morning sun, a Wren is in full song, a young Dunnock and a male Chaffinch just rest on the carved owls.

Bob and Bri

Sparrow Hawks have Fledged

Had a walk around Gillies at the weekend and found the Young Sparrow Hawks were not in the nest but perched in the nearby trees, there were definitely three and could have been four. visited a couple of times and they were still in the same area and one of the parent birds was present on both occasions. Managed a couple of shots through the branches.

Also spotted a young Barn owl in the tower but did not have a camera, it was well grown and I have not seen it again.

Bri

Young Sparrowhawk

Tony has been keeping a watch on the Sparrowhawks nesting in the trees near Gillies pond, he has seen four chicks which were hatched about two weeks ago, see his photo of one.

Bri

New Swan Family

The new pair of swans hatched five cygnets at the weekend and all are doing fine, see pics.

The damp weather brought out the Common Toadlets from the ponds, they are only about 6mm long and can easily be missed, the paths were littered with bodies.

Bob and Bri

Small Elephant Hawkmoth

After trapping the Elephant Hawkmoth one night, the smaller species was caught the next, it’s slightly worn see the hair missing from the head.

We also saw what appears to have been a newly emerged Brown Hawker, it was still finding it’s wings and does not have the full colours yet.

Bob and Bri