Yesterday afternoon hundreds of Painted Lady butterflies were in the first field, feeding on Common Knapweed and on the marsh,Sea Lavender. There were also two different sizes, one was the same as the small Tortoiseshell and the other was about half the size again, is one an immigrant and the other a local ??
Other butterflies feeding on same Flowers were :-
and Dark green Fritillary.
As the seasons change so do the flower colours and at the moment the prominent colour is purple, Purple Loosestrife, Sea Lavender, Common Knapweed and Heather.
All along the paths are sand piles mounted outside small holes and the other day we found a culprit, a Sand Wasp, see photo. These insects lay their eggs on dead prey, see the attached link, https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/uow-dwa110317.php
Bartsia is now in flower and we are finding it growing outside the usual areas, a good area is the west bank of the long pond and a small group can be found in the NW corner of the most northern of the small ponds.
Meadow Sweet is growing well this year, with a good clump just outside the entrance to the feeders.
We found a new Blackbird egg shell discarded on the path, a sign they are on their second brood.
Bob and Bri
During the walk on the reserve, to and from the Natterjack ponds, lots of butterflies were disturbed but unfortunately they were nearly all Meadow Browns. In contrast, walking through a lane to the stable there was an excellent variety, including a Holly Blue ( also in the garden yesterday), along with Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood, Small White and a Large White all within a 10 yard section.
Spotted a Heron on the long pond this morning, normally this time of year they are more numerous and fighting for the best spots.
We also spotted a couple of female Back-tailed Skimmers on the main path from gate 4, more detail on this photo than the last one.
The last photo attached is of some Palmate newts, found when checking one of the Natterjack ponds, there are 5 adult newts but how many young can you count?
Bob and Bri
Yesterday we came across a Herring gull lying down, in the field after the Chalets, as we approached it was clear to see the problem, a large piece of cloth was stuck in it’s beak.
We tried to catch it but it still was well enough to fly, and ironically probably now die of starvation.
We have seen only a few Four Spot dragonflies this season and yesterday our first Black-tailed Skimmer.
Bob and Bri