June brings in the start of summer and the new advent of life around the reserve. The hard work finding territories, mates then safe nest site starts to be paid back over the next few weeks. All around the reserve busy parents can be observed with mouthfuls of invertebrates ready to feed the next generation. Out on the water, it is a more sedate time for mother waterfowl as the young can feed themselves from a few hours after hatching. However, the weather can be a big factor at this time of the year. Untimely rain can drench little fluffy bodies, chilling them and those invertebrates so richly cherished by mothers hide away. But despite these challengers the keen eye will see a variety of the young next generation around the reserve. Newly fledged Pied Wagtail around the farm, swan cygnets, as well as the unusual Shoveler young on the lagoon, with young Skylark and Meadow Pipit out on the Merse taking full advantage of the bountiful food supplies found at this time of the year.
This tapestry of life is played out on a daily basis out on the reserve, showing that it is not just birds that are important and can be seen on an RSPB reserve. With a few milder nights as the summer progresses the opportunity to carry out some moth monitoring to find out those hidden gems that you may disturb as you walk around the trails. Just in the last week over twenty species were recorded and although some of the species are the expected brown job some are infinity more exciting just look at those Gold Spots or Beautiful China Mark, not quite the archetypal brown job that a lot of people imagine moths. So, watch this space to see what else appears over the summer and even into the autumn.
Beautiful China Mark
Silver ground Carpet
Clouded Bordered Brindle
and the next two are Gold Spot.............
Do not forget that everything in reserve management has it place, for instance that tree that has just fallen down, why has it been left “it looks untidy” well many of the piles of vegetation, fallen tree, dead standing trees and stones will provide the micro habitat for many of our smallest elements of the reserve’s biodiversity. Just thing without that dead and decaying wood we would not have this magnificent beast, the Two Banded Longhorn Beetle:
The larvae of which spend up to two years helping to decompose dead wood which has been “left lying around”. Even those cow pats left after natures natural lawn mowers have done their job can be full of life from dung beetles to a myriad of fungi.
Although this time of the year can be relatively quiet to see birds that are a bit more unusual, the odd surprise can be thrown up. Although it is not unusual to see Osprey as they do nest in the locality, it is usually distant views of single birds over the bay. But whilst carrying out breeding bird survey last week a pair of Osprey were observed interacting near the old nest site. Could this be a young pair checking out possible nesting locations. Fingers crossed for next year maybe.
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