Tuesday 16th July

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

Holly Blue and others

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.

Bri

Sunday 7th July

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

One meal to big

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

Friday 28th June

Badgers must really like honey and be immune to bee stings, we found the remains of a dug out nest with one lonely bee trying to make sense of the devastation, see photo.
This easterly wind has brought a massive influx of Painted Lady’s and at the moment, except for a few Meadow Brown, they are the only butterflies.
We occasionally have a visit from a Field vole at the feeders and managed to snap it the other day.
A Grasshopper Warbler, on top of the tip, has started singing again,maybe hoping for a second brood.

Bob and Bri

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