Monday, 9 July 2012

Summertime So they Say

 As predicted in my last post, the two Kestrel chicks have now fledged from the box on the barn and one of them is pictured in these two photos alongside the barn. They have both been rung, as the leg shows, and hopefully in time we'll learn of their ultimate destination.

 Also as I mentioned in my last post, the vegetation on the reserve is now reaching record levels, and always seems to be soaking wet, its real hard work walking round at the moment and with the scarcity of birds at the moment, there are times when you wonder why you are. Given the crapness of this summer its tempting to wonder what we will get this winter - will it be T shirts in December or Siberia in January - nobody seems able to predict more than a day ahead just lately. However, one thing that is at odds with the perceptions of the current weather at the moment, is actually how wet it is. The new rills on the reserve are holding very little water, as the photo below shows, and the ditches and fleets only have average summer water levels, so perverse as it sounds, clearly we have had a lot of rain but not heavy rain, and the odd dry and sunny day and all the vegetation are keeping water levels low, a dry autumn would quickly have us back to where we started.

The one patch of ex-pond water lilly have been slow to spread across the ditch this year and I was worried that perhaps the snow and ice had killed them off, but now they are starting to spread and show themselves, as the two photos below show.

Other than the above, the only real birds of note lately, has been the start of the autumn passage birds. I had 8 Green Sandpiper yesterday and 4 Whimbrel on Friday and most days there seems to be some degree of movement through of Swifts.
Lastly, whilst continuing with my family history research, I was in the main Sheppey Cemetery over the weekend looking at graves and headstones, as you do, and came across a couple of clumps of this delightful wild flower, Orange Hawkbit. If you double click on it, it comes up a bit closer, it is a delightful flower that I think, closely sown, would grace the front of any flower border.

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