Saturday, 20 June 2015

Early Reserve

Rising as normal at 5.30 this morning, it was quite beautiful out and with possible rain due later this morning I headed straight for the reserve, arriving at 6.00. I then spent two hours wandering round thoroughly enjoying a classic summer's early morning - blue skies, warm sun, no wind and a good number of butterflies on the wing - superb!
Blogs lately seem to be infatuated with a steady stream of photos of various odonata, all very well but most simply seem to be jumping on a bandwagon excellently begun last year by Marc Heath. Have a look at Marc's superb blog and you'll realise how far ahead of the rest that he is. Nuff said.

This morning as I wandered round I thought I'd take some photos of the more ordinary things that occur such as common wildflowers. Few blogs feature flowers these days, perhaps because they are too ordinary and walked by without a glance and because they don't jump up in front of you spectacularly like a rare bird. Sadly, many visitors are only interested in the reserve when something like a Richards Pipit turns up, they miss a lot.

The Flood is fast drying out now but some Avocets still remain, although we don't believe that they have fledged as many chicks as they should of done this year.

It's always impossible to resist a cygnet photo and here one has hitched a ride on it's mother's back.

And of they go, with the youngster being rocked asleep.

This old salt working mound is covered in stinging nettles........

......which have fed and reared around 700-800 Peacock butterfly catterpillars, which are fast dispersing now to pupate.

Birdsfoot Trefoil

White Clover

I've always called this Scentless Mayweed but the books suggest that it is Chamomile.

A classic reserve ditch, lovely to me but possibly not to others.


Agrimony (thanks to Steve Gale)

Red Clover

The view west along the sea wall.

Meadow Vetchling.


Seed head of Crow Garlic.

What I know as Parsley Water Dropwort.

And no walk could take place without Ellie and Midge, the reserve's pest control officers.

So there you have it -, no macro'd to death shot of a dragonfly, no spectacular shot of a rare bird, just ordinary photos of what I see as I wander round the reserve - my idea of being out in the countryside.
Back home, my resident flock of around 30+ House Sparrows have really rewarded me this year with exceptional breeding successes. They have had at least three nests in this hawthorn hedge along my drive.

Two nests in this Sparrow terrace nest box.

And the latest is in this climbing rose outside my bedroom window - well done the "spuggies".


  1. Hi Derek - your Mignonette is Agrimony and I agree with your Mayweed being just that and not Chamomile. Not a Richard's Pipit in sight and all the better for it...

  2. Steve, you are so right re. the Agrimony, I will correct, and thanks for the re-assurance about the Mayweed.

  3. Thanks Derek for your kind words on the blog, appreciated. Not sure on the dragonflies 'macro'd to death bit though? As you say, simple photos giving us a feel for the session you had. Cheers.

    1. Marc,
      Your blog is worthy of all the praise that it gets - "macro'd to death" - a sentiment shared by one or two other people besides me, but I guess that you've got it just about right, not so some others.

  4. Aaah Derek, we can count on you to stir things up, no? :-) Marc is worth emulating, that is for sure. Sometimes one must challenge oneself to keep interest up. Also, while I'm at it, I seem to recall you complaining some time back about folks who just post list after list of the birds they see. Well, now they are doing something different - so enjoy it and don't complain!

    BTW - lovely roses. I miss them. I wonder if they would survive in a spot sheltered from the wind and seaspray? cheers, Wilma

  5. Wilma,
    Nothing worse than somebody who's got a long memory about what I've said in the past - but all joking aside, I'm happy to concede the fact that you're right, well said.
    As for roses, I have loads of them, I love them. They are pretty resilient things to grow and must be worth a try in a sheltered spot around your place - give it a go.