Ian saw a song thrush in Pony Wood this morning , and linnets of course.
Flora Field – a brown hare, a snipe and, spotted by Dan Heywood – overflying, a greater spotted woodpecker and grey wagtail.
Pony Wood – Dan saw 33 linnets in the big ash trees, feeding in the bird food margin. This is a record for this area so far this year.
This afternoon there were two buzzards soaring above Arable Field being mobbed by gulls and jackdaws. A small copper butterfly was feeding on thistles in Arable Field.
Hundreds of redwing and fieldfares flying over and going on to the reserve this afternoon.
Could be due to the recent north-easterly winds bringing them in from Scandinavia.
23 small tortoiseshell butterflies were feeding on a patch of thistles in Arable Field this afternoon.
I shared a bench overlooking Hay Meadow with the Dark Giant Horsefly on Monday. These flies are huge (25mm long) and apparently the heaviest flies in Europe. This one is female (her eyes don’t meet unlike the males) – not good news as she is the one that feeds on blood, though only just before she lays eggs fortunately; otherwise she feeds on nectar like the males. Thankfully she prefers the blood of cattle and ponies – watch out White Parks! Humans are sometimes bitten, though, and can have a severe reaction). Dark Giant Horseflies are not that common, mainly occurring in boggy areas in the north and west of Britain, so right at home in Fairfield Reserve. They fly in July and August.
Whilst “helping” with the meadow surgery on July 2nd we spotted a sparrow hawk carrying prey along the hedge (Big Meadow and Hay Meadow), an overflying curlew and heard a song thrush at the bottom of an Aldcliffe Rd garden There were numerous meadow browns and a silver y moth
The large patches of thistles around Pony Wood were proving a magnet for insects today. There were at least four species of bumblebee feeding from them, along with numerous hoverflies and some meadow brown butterflies.
There were also good numbers of swallows feeding over Flora Field.
A stoat shot across the path in front of me adjacent to School Pond, about 5pm on 10th June.
I also saw a meadow brown or small heath (it looked a bit small for a meadow brown) on the hedgerow alongside the path in between Little Wood and the canal, Sun 14th June, about 10.30am. I’d be grateful to anyone who can confirm what it was.