Orchids

The first field is full of Marsh and Spotted Orchids this year, and posibly some Hybrids, see photos.
There are a group of White Iris growing in the lower tip, not sure exactly what type, see photos.
Dyer’s Greenweed is everywhere especially down the paths.

A couple of Blackbirds are feeding their young at the moment and visit the feeders for suet pellets, but this morning the male was already full of worms and still tried to fit in another pellet.

Bob and Bri

Bee Orchids

It’s that time of year again and the Bee Orchids are blooming, there are three just off the path, on the right hand side going up the tip and also in the usual place, right hand side of gate four in the airfield.
A couple of Grasshopper Warblers are singing again, managed a shot og the one on the top of the tip.
We caught sight of a Heron hiding in the long reeds, near the fishing pond, see photos.
The moth traps have been very poor this season but we did catch a Poplar Hawkmoth this morning.

Bob and Bri

Eider Ducks

The Eider appear to be having a poor year, on the way to check the Natterjack ponds, we spotted a group of 8 female and 1 male Eider duck on the channel but only one lonely duckling.
At the pond there were a group of 10 Smooth? newts, see photo of one.
Finally managed a shot of a Four Spot chaser this year and also a Common Blue butterfly.

Bob and Bri

Saturday 1st June

It’s that time of year again when the hairy caterpillars appear on the paths, there are plenty but not enough to attract the cuckoo this year; see photos of both the caterpillars and the moths.

Bob and Bri

Saturday 25th May

The swans on the long pond appeared to be creating a nest but there is no sign of them sitting yet, others that have had success are, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese and a pair of Mallards, see photos.
The Willow trees are dropping their seeds and the area just looks like snow, see photos.
Some of the Willow trees have been attacked by the Yellow tail moth caterpillar, and nearly void of leaves, see photo of caterpillar.

Bob and Bri

Monday 13th May

The reserve is teaming with wildlife at the moment, attached are photos of some of the species found over the weekend.
Sedge Warbler with nesting material.
Sedge Warbler and Pipit on same bush.
Reed Warbler ( three on the fishing pond this year).
Wall butterfly.
Small Heath butterfly.
Large Red Damselfly.
Orange Tip butterfly.
-veined butterfly (not exactly sure if it is a Green-veined or not)
White Throat.
Meadow Pipit with ring.

Also spotted first Four Spot Chaser dragonfly and Small Copper butterfly but no photos.

Bri

Thursday 25th April

The rain yesterday brought out a few of last years Common Toad toadlets, they have survived the winter and now hoping to reach full size before the next one.
Also a rare sighting of a pair of Shoveler ducks were spotted on one of the smaller ponds, photo was taken of the male.

Bob and Bri

Saturday 20th April

A beautiful Easter weekend as forecast, makes a pleasant change,and the migrating birds are taking advantage of this high pressure to move north. Lots of Swallows are passing through and the locals have moved back into the stables, Warblers are returning, Willow Warblers are plenty and we have heard three Grasshopper Warblers. The Stonechats remained here through the winter, and now the males are perching high up claiming their territory.
The warm weather also brings out the idiots and yesterday was no exception, see attached photos.

The moth numbers dropped during the past few really cold nights but have now picked up again, a few photos are attached.
On the way along the channel side to check on the Natterjack ponds, there were four sheep with one new lamb and unfortunately another lamb drowned in a pool, then further on a dead Badger on the tide line, these high tides have probably caught them both unawares.
Finally, this rapid increase in temperature caused the Highland cow to cool off.

Sunday 14th April

We have taken advantage of this dry weather and put the moth traps out overnight and even though the temperature has dropped to near freezing, we have caught a total of 117 with 10 varieties.
The Shelduck are now pairing up and can be seen flying and calling to one another, looking for a disused burrow to nest. Four were on the long pond on Friday, see photos.
It’s still only early April but the May Flowers have started to bloom, see photo.

Bob and Bri

Wednesday 10th April

Spring has sprung, the local birds are pairing up, a couple of Woodpigeon have had an early start and are already sitting, with the nest in an unusual position, below the path, see photo.
Natterjacks have already started laying, the attached photo shows the first tadpoles starting to emerge.
Coot have not been seen for at least a couple of years but this morning, two were on the long pond, see photo.

Bob and Bri