Tuesday 22nd. A third siting of a stoat around the triple gates area. We also saw at least two herons around the Flora Field.
The Hedge Working Party met yesterday. One of us observed a small flock of field fare in West Field on the way to meet the group. A member of the public reported seeing a stoat on the track near the treble gates and we disturbed a heron in Flora Field as we approached our hedge.
Whilst working on trimming the west hedge of the West Field this morning a group of volunteers had a really good sighting of a weasel. S/he seemed a bit cross at being disturbed and far from running away darted in and out of the hedge for several minutes.
I am also informed that the horse manure conceals a wealth of wildlife, mainly insects of course but also a newt was observed.
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.
Unfortunately I have not seen the otter family which others have seen on the canal. However whilst working at the Shed the other day a passer by stopped and showed us a video of a female and two young in the canal near Aldcliffe Road. He said he was regularly out early morning and late evening and had seen the otters crossing the Aldcliffe Road toward the Reserve and in the Flora ponds.
This is consistent with a report from one of our active members who was working on the Flora ponds the other evening and noticed a ‘trail’ leading into one of the ponds and mysterious droppings. He suspects otter.
Entomologists might inspect the post and board fence and gate posts around the Shed where we have a whole cluster of ladybirds. They appear (to the completely ignorant eye) to be of different types as they have a variable numbers of spots. They also appear (ditto) to be hibernating as they are inert but clearly not dead. Yet they seem very exposed to the elements.
A jay in the Orchard the other day and a pheasant in the Flora Field recently.
Two jays very active around the Lucy Brook end of Big Meadow this afternoon.
Came across Common Fleabane in the Big Meadow today, see the wildflower photo collection. There were also lots of large brown dragon flies which I remember from previous years but don’t know exactly what they are.
I also put up two birds which were certainly partridge size and shape. As they flew off toward Lower Sowerholme I got an impression that their colouring was two shades of brown, body and wings. My birdbook information is consistent with my observation but I can’t be confident as it all happened quickly.