Well, the “longest day” has passed and gone, with the daylight hours going to get shorter heading towards winter. But the reserve is still literally buzzing with life, waders, one of our target species for the reserve, are still present tending young, only this week a Lapwing was seen with week old chicks. With already fledged young present around the reserve it looks like a productive extended season this year. Whilst Lapwing and Redshank are more than noticeable, alarming at any sign of danger, the Snipe is much more secretive over its breeding habitats. After some early signs of breeding there has been little activity from them until this week when 5 birds were reported around the reserve with one group of three and other group of two. With the Snipe’s habitat of splitting the brood with dad looking after half of the young after hatching this may have been a pair with recently fledged juveniles. However, you will have to look closely to see them as they are hidden away in the rushes. Around the reserve lots of young are know fledging with Pied Wagtails, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks easily noticeable around the reserve. Even around the Wigtown Office a pair of Swallow are about to fledge their recent brood.

 

Lapwing

Hidden Snipe

waiting for their next meal

The grasslands are also full of insects at present and closer inspection can highlight a wide range of species which are present. From moths to Bugs (Hemiptera) to multitudes of flies. These provide the basis of the many of our bird’s food supply and if you observe larks and pipits at this time of the year undoubtedly will see them mouthfuls of invertebrates collected from the grasslands.

Beautiful Golden Y

One of the many Micro Moths of the reserve

a Grass bug

Every now and then you find something that catches your eye. A strange swelling in a stem of a nettle made a second look worthwhile. Initially a suspected Gall, caused by some sort of parasitic invertebrate, but on further research it was more likely a fungal infection. Always something new to discover.

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