At the end of April we planted 70 wild flower plugs in the wet part of the Hay Meadow. The ragwort Working Party had time this morning to inspect the plugs and we were pleased to find that all but one were thriving. We found a ragged robin in flower. This is one of the plants we put in but from its position and flowering I think this one has arrived independently. This is even better as we have not observed this plant on the Reserves in recent years.
The joys of ragworting are limited but this morning we did have one or two good wildlife experiences. Two hares were playing a chasing game, (we suspect male and female!), in the School Field. We could hear the birds singing including encouraging ones from the direction of the Flora Field. At ground level we noticed a cowslip which, on investigation, seems to be the first one noted on the Reserves since we started keeping a record. A photo next week. The Hay Meadow is full of yellow rattle, ribwort plantain and clover as well as smaller amounts of good king henry and yarrow. Another step forward on its way to a flower meadow.
Three sightings of roe deer today, two very definite ones of a single deer running through Lower Sowerholme and then later in the Flora Field heading into Pony Wood. The third sighting of two deer between Lower Sowerholme and Flora Field rather more certain.
Whilst in the Big Meadow Bog ragworting we put up a couple of snipe.
Two new flowers to report. First water mint in Lower Sowerholme
And finally, now that the haymaking has finished we can report Common Spotted Orchid in the Hay Meadow. About 20 of them in total but we didn’t want to encourage people climbing the gates by announcing them earlier. This photo is from 22nd June.
Whilst exploring the Reserve the other day several of us came across this moth in Upper Sowerholme which has now been identified as a male ‘Drinker’ Euthris potatoria. I know nothing about moths so I am not sure whether this is rare or not but it isn’t in our Collins Book of Moths and Butterflies so it can’t be all that common!
And, more prosaically, are a few more flowers
Hedge Bindweed on the Pads footpath 12 July
Meadow Vetchling in the Oak Circle of the Orchard 11th July
Lords and ladies in the Orchard. About to turn red but the almost always fall over when red so this will have to do for the moment.