Just as yesterday I arrived at the reserve at 06.30 but today I managed over two hours of lovely warm, sunny and wind free weather before the wind and cloud eventually arrived to spoil the day.
I may of given the impression yesterday by going on about the mud and wet that we'd had a fair bit of rain but that has not been the case, only the top inch or so was wet. The ground under that remained bone dry and rock hard and one of the effects of that which is fairly common in such conditions is pictured below. Its something that people might not realise occurs but unless moles can find the same hole to re-enter the soil they find it impossible to dig their way back into the hard ground and then get stranded on the surface and eventually die.
On a more pleasant note I came across this juvenile Coot that was making its way along the edge of a ditch. What broods that I've seen this year have all been of only one or two chicks.
A few more butterflies were about this morning, mainly Meadow Browns and Small Heaths, but I did come across my first two Painted Ladies of the year. Unfortunately my little camera needs me to get fairly close to them to get photos, which scares them off, so its back to nice easy static things like wildflowers. As always they are better viewed by double clicking on each photo.
Firstly is this Black Horehound.
A bit gruesome I know but I also came across this spot on the farmland where de-horning of the cattle obviously took place at some time.
My little garden has managed to look quite good this year so couldn't resist a couple of shots of it. Wherever possible I have planted flowers and shrubs beneficial to bees and butterflies. Sitting alongside a large clump of Marjoram on a sunny afternoon watching its flowers covered in various types of bees is a simple pleasure as enjoyable as finding any rare bird. To the side you can just see the flight for my canaries aviary.
And lastly, taken through my conservatory window, something that is a normal sight to many bloggers but a rare and exciting sight for me, a family party of Goldfinches on my feeders. Hopefully my neighbours, who are further away than they look, didn't think I was aiming the camera at their bedroom.