Friday 4th October

The Coastal path has been completed with the exception of the marker arrows on the posts. The work is to a very good standard but probably not necessary and the steps off the tip, which were removed to allow access for the vehicles, has been replaced with a very steep gravel path.
The farmer has now moved his cattle down onto the southern most area and also increased the number to between 30 and 40. One can be seen in the photo with a couple of Magpies on it’s back, probably removing big juicy ticks.
We have started with the feeders again and it hasn’t taken long for the birds to find them, a Jay and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were there yesterday.
Natural England have again cut and burned the Japanese Rose on the side of the long pond, this a repeat of what was carried out in October 2017.

Bob and Bri

Friday 13th September

The contractors are in the second week of installing the Coastal Path, attached are three photos as a sample of the installation, the steps from the tip leading down to the fishing pond have been removed for access and will be replaced on completion (including by special request a Stannah Chairlift). After it is all completed we will shoot the full installation.
Wheatears have been passing through for some time now but this morning we came across one that must have been a little exhausted, it just didn’t want to fly, see close up shots.
Also this morning a Holly Blue was spotted in the garden, this is the third time this year.

Bob and Bri

Monday 27th August

The two swans on the long pond,(female with blue ring), have now taken over from the last pair in which the female (white ring TYP) died. They are now the chasing and not the chased, see attached photo of the most recent pair to be harassed by them.
Hawthorn trees are doing very well, see photo of a couple covered in berries, is this a sign of coming bad winter?
Whilst checking one of the moth traps, we found a few Round Leaved Wintergreen, not seen these for a few years,
Also found a ring of large fungi.
Other photos of Natterjack tadpoles and toadlets, very late brood but look as though they are thriving, and a dosing heron on the long pond.

Bob and Bri

Thursday 8th August

Best day this week, the air was clear and the hills looked really close, see photo.
Now the nesting period has officially finished, Natural England have been busy, carrying on where they left off, in February, cutting and burning Willow trees in the dip north of the butts, see couple of photos.
They have also cut the grass along the Airfield fence, part of the Coastal path, first cut for the visit of Country File in 2017, as can be seen, this will have to a annual task to keep it open. ( If you walk approximately 100yds along the path toward the channel, in a small clearing you will find a lonely Viper’s-bugloss.)

Also attached are a few other photos, one of a mating pair of Common Darters, there are are plenty to see at the moment, a pair of Common Blue and a Small Copper.

Bob and Bri

Friday 2nd August

The Painted Lady butterflies are still very plentiful especially where there is any nectar.
Natural England were busy bruising the bracken in the area just after the second to last gate, see photos.
A Reed Warbler has started singing again, in the middle clump of reeds near the path, see photo.
Managed a photo of a male Emperor dragonfly, found patolling the northern most Natterjack pond.
Find attached a couple of photos of House Sparrows having a bath in a pool on the path near the tip.
Also see Power Turbines in a better light.

Bob and Bri

Butterflies Galore

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 :-

Meadow Brown,

Small Copper,
Wall,
Gatekeeper
Large White,
Green Veined,
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.

Bri

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