It has been fairly quiet over the past couple of weeks, lots of swallows flying through, stopping off for a quick feed on there way, also there have been a few House Martins, for the past few days, feeding over the ponds.
The Gold Finches are flocking again but there don’t appear to be in any large numbers.
A Barn Owl has been spotted hunting over the first field, first time this year.
The Viper’s Bugloss is now in bloom and can be found 100yards east of Gate 4, just follow part of the new coastal path, which was cleared in March for Country File’s visit, earlier this year..
One of the carved owls at the seat has been modified by a Woodpecker, see photo.
The long grass in the first field is still looking very good, lots of seed for the animals, at the moment the only other colour is from the few Purple-loosestrife flowers.
Some of the Heather is turning a ginger colour and dying because of the dry spell, it may recover when the rain comes.
Bob and Bri
This dry spell appears to have driven the dragonflies from the ponds, similar to the swifts and swallows, to the grassland
, where the food is more plentiful.
Meadow Browns ans Gatekeepers are flourishing with an occasional Small Tortoiseshell, but no sign of the Grayling.
We spotted a Heron in an unusual position yesterday, actually lying down on the spit in the long pond, and then there were two Oystercatchers being pestered by a Magpie.
Bob and Bri
Cannot believe this weather, pond levels are falling and all the natterjack ponds are dried up, luckily they had an early start this year.
Quite a few Song Thrush this year and they are often on the paths breaking up the snails but today one was throwing a caterpillar.
There has been a well worn Robin at the seat, see photo, he/she has lost it’s tail.
There are lots of insects around for the birds, with Swifts, Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins all hunting in the same area, pity they don’t have ago at the clegs.
Came across an unusual site today, a Common Emerald moth, caught and died on a thistle plant.
Bob and Bri
Another hot day, but unusually clear, the Isle of Man was in view, and as can be seen, the turbines are just starting to encroach the view.
Yellow Bartsia are starting to flower, they have a long season, but unfortunately the area cleared of gorse, to erect the fence along the channel side, which proved to be prolific in the flower has now been claimed back.
Lots of Rudd, clearing up the bread crumbs, were spotted in the shallow water of the long pond.
Bob and Bri,
We counted three pairs of Canada with young on the long pond, photo shows the oldest group, parents are difficult to spot.
Lots of other young birds are about and we caught a Sedge Warbler feeding one.
Dragonflies are enjoying this hot spell with a number of Emperors on most ponds, also spotted first Brown Hawker today.
It’s a bit late in the season but we found an Oystercatcher’s nest with one egg.
Last year the Japanese Rose was cut down on the side of the long pond and the area looked really good but this year it has returned reinvigorated.
During the last week the weather has been changeable!, extremely cold one day and lovely and warm the next, our biggest problem is choosing what to wear but the poor old wildlife has to survive.
A family of Ravens were scavenging on the beach one morning and managed to get a shot of one of the adults.
Sand Martins during have been feeding over the small ponds and we came across an adult with one young having a break and resting on the Airfield fence.
Just a little further along was a young Warbler.
When it was warm a few species of butterfly ventured out, Large Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell, Meadow Brown, Small Heath and Speckled Wood but still no sign of any Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary.
We spotted our first Common Darter dragonfly this season.
The Evening Primrose are now in flower on the tip, adjacent the entrance, to the path along the airfield fence.
Bob and Bri
Flowers are blooming and if you prefer yellow then now is the time to visit.
Bush Lupin, Lady’s Bedstraw, Biting Stonecrop, Tormentil, and Dyer’s Greenweed are just a few.
Bob and Bri
Marsh orchids can be found everywhere but the Bee Orchid is a bit more sparse,some can be found on the old tip but are difficult to spot until you get your eye in. There are some which are easily spotted but unfortunately they are just the other side of the Airfield fence at Gate 4.
This long dry spell has been good for us especially with the wet winter, but not so good for the Natterjacks, they got off to an early start with spawn in April but there are still tadpoles in pond 52 and as can be seen from the photo the pond is almost dry. The very fist batch must have emerged as toadlets but none have yet been found.
The Four Spot Chaser has been flying around for a while now and one was found laying eggs in one of the few small ponds still with water.
As Bri has said the Swans failed with their nest and moved up to the Long Pond to engage in hostilities with the Canada geese and their brood.A few years ago we witnessed a swan gripping a gosling round the neck and attempting to drown it. A few adult Canadas came to its rescue harassing the Swan and thus releasing it.
Today I thought the same scene was going to materealise. Both swans bearing down on their nemesis and battle commenced.
But it ended in just chasing the geese around for a while and they eventually made their escape further up the pond.