Monday 30 May 2011

Not So Summery

This last week has been a tad disappointing weather wise culminating with early Saturday morning on the reserve being the coldest I've been since back in March. This morning wasn't a lot better, with overcast skies and a chilly wind, look at the photo below which demonstrates how gloomy that it was and it also affected the quality of the photos. Butterflies and the like have also been very noticeable by their absence and therefore it has beem difficult to find much of interest to blog about this week.

However there are always these snails along the top of the seawall, hundreds in fact, unfortunately walking along there tends to be accompanied by a crunching sound at regular intervals. My wildlife books suggests that they might be White-lipped snails.

The cows and their calves on the reserve have now been joined by three strapping Aberdeen Angus bulls, really lovely specimens, and walking past them across the grazing marsh this chap seemed reasonably happy for me to get quite close. I think he was more interested in what he was there for than me and Midge.

Just past him I came across this Redshank's nest tucked away in a tuft of grass, probably not the best of places to nest when you consider all those hooves walking about.

The swan family is still doing OK, although in recent years we have found that once they achieve almost full size as juveniles in the autumn, that is when they tend to die for some reason.

Close by in one of the ditches, this large spread of water lily is just coming into flower, it is normally quite huge by the autumn and is normally used as a roosting raft by various ducks and coots.

I've put this one in to show how fast The Flood is drying back now, I imagine it will be totally dry by the end of June. There's nothing we can do about it then until we get substantial rain in the autumn.

Back at home the Blackbirds are still suffering. Having failed to rear any young because of the Magpie attacks, they are now struggling to find much to eat because of the rock hard ground. As a result I have been putting out old apples and sultanas for them but even here they seem to suffer at the hands of other birds. The minute any food is put out down swoop large flocks of those avian locusts, Starlings and within minutes everything has gone - a real pain.
There has been one small success this last week however, the Magpies that unfortunately nested in a neighbour's tree and fed on Blackbird eggs and young, fledged three young. One immediately dropped into my garden in front of Midge and another was caught by a neighbouring cat - two less around next breeding season!

1 comment:

  1. We actually had a much needed wet day yesterday Derek.

    Not sure I would have relished walking past those very impressive looking bulls and the Redshank's nest does seem to be in a rather precarious place!

    Nice to see the Swans with their young.

    A shame about the Magpies...