Another one from Marjorie Hutchin
The big creatures seen at Campfield get a lot of attention; and it’s good to see roe deer on the moss, an occasional marsh or hen harrier flying over is exciting and the ospreys that have hung around on the shore for the last few weeks have been intriguing, but the smallest creatures can be fascinating too.
I was on duty at the Visitor Centre on Sunday (volunteers staff the centre at weekends) and went out for a wander round the Discovery field. As I peered at a large piece of rotting wood, as you do, a strange critter emerged. It popped up from its hole, decided this wasn’t a good idea and shot back in again. But soon it emerged fully to give me a better look. It was only about 15 mm long but I particularly liked its yellow leg warmers which contrasted well with the black body. There are even little yellow bands on the antennae.
Later investigation suggests it could be ectemnius continuus, a digger wasp which makes its nest in rotten wood and feeds on flies which it drags to its burrow.
It was an interesting day at the Visitor Centre on Sunday. A group of 15 people arrived who had got together from different parts of the country to celebrate two birthdays. After a chat about the reserve and coffee in the Centre they went for a walk round the red trail, finishing with lunch at the picnic tables (it was a fine day). They enjoyed their visit enormously and had lots of positive comments about Campfield Marsh. Neil (also on duty ) and I enjoyed meeting them and chatting about this very special reserve.
The tree sparrows were much in evidence, with about thirty on the feeders. Skeins of pink footed geese flew over on their way south and a few stopped for a while in the big field in front of the hide. Ducks are beginning to return to wet places on the reserve, their numbers will increase as the fields wet up after the exceptionally dry summer. Some mallard and at least a hundred teal were on the scrape in front of the hide or in the grass around it.
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