Lew reported he had seen a number of Black-tailed Skimmer and Emperor Dragonflies on the long pond this morning and this afternoon I had a walk up. Unfortunately the Emperor’s were patrolling their territory and not settling, but a couple of the Skimmers did, see photos attached.
It was ideal weather for the Pearl bordered fritillary to be about but again none were found. In the same area there were four Ringlets, they were easily spooked, not come across these on reserve before but the photos do confirm them to be Ringlets.
As part of the Japanese Rose clearance early this year, while the diggers were on site, 12 new ponds were excavated. Two of these new ponds have performed above expectations, one with one string, tadpoles presently have two back legs and the other with 5 or 6 strings, with the first batch of toadlets leaving the pond, see photos. Also shown is a common toadlet, found on the path near the fishing pond
Unfortunately the Rose clearance has not been so successful, the new shoots are already pushing through, see photos.
Other sad news, the first of the cygnets has gone, now down to seven.
The cattle have been moved from the new fenced area, talking to Bri he says it will be grazed, 1st Sept to 1st Dec and 1st April to 1st June, reasons only known to NE.
The Reed Warblers returned to the fishing pond this year and managed to catch one singing in the reeds near the path.
Also a Ringed Plover was feeding in the field next to the Chalet park.
This year has been slightly better than last for the Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary, have been walking the area regularly and managed to see two. Last year it was very cold and none were seen, there have been numbers in the early twenties in the past but the cattle grazing the area probably won’t help either.
On the way to the new Natterjack pools at the north end of the island, the tide was making and as I watched, the terns, on there way to the fishing grounds off the north west of the island, followed the channel looking for sand eels. Only a few birds actually caught any but when the did they continued onto the fishing grounds, carrying their catch.
Twelve new ponds/scrapes were created earlier this year, with the dry spell, six have dried out but four are still holding plenty of water and one of them has approximately a 1000 tadpoles. This is really a good start, as the pond is well away from previous sightings and if they reach maturity, they should start to halt the decline in the population.
Often racing pigeons get separated from the flock and when the become tired will land to recuperate. One pigeon did that this morning and was on the main path into the reserve, but a Meadow Pipit considered it a threat and attempted to move it on, but the poor old pigeon was to tired to care.