And the sunshine is back, and stronger than ever. Yes we've been sweltering this week here at Greylake, West Sedgemoor and Swell Wood, as I'm sure many of you have been.

We had a couple of early morning surveys to do this week and even at seven o'clock on Wednesday and Thursday, it was extremely hot walking about out on the moor, not to mention the horse fly bites and soaking wet, thigh high grass to wade through. Yes, it's not all fun saving nature. However, there are advantages, like wandering through a meadow of beautiful wildflowers with the sound of skylarks trilling overhead.

Or watching the colourful butterflies warming up and feeding in the morning sunshine.

  Small tortoiseshell

  Peacock

Or the beauty of a dew covered spider web hanging in the grass

My walk around Swell Wood on Friday morning was a lot more pleasant in terms of temperature. An overnight downpour had cooled the air a little and I was there early so I had the whole place to myself. The shady tunnels and shafts of sunlight breaking through the trees were looking particularly beautiful and a song thrush was serenading somewhere above my, with it's backing singers of great tits, robins and wrens, among others.

  Swell Wood in the morning sunshine

  There were lots of insects dancing in the sunbeams

In bird news, our surveys revealed that many of our wader chicks have now fledged. There were a lot less adult birds alarm calling than on our last survey, which they tend to do if you walk near them when they have unfledged chicks on the ground. It won't be long until the breeding season is over for this year.

At the farm, our Robin chick fledged on Thursday, which was slightly quicker than usual at thirteen days since hatching, the average being fourteen days. As there was only one chick, it got all the food, so not surprising it was on the faster side. The second egg was still in the nest and there are a number of reasons it might not have hatched, but it's impossible to know. Luckily I got a couple of photos of the chick on Wednesday, although it was tucked up and just looks like a bundle of feathers.

  It's quite hard to see in there

  That's better, but it still doesn't look much like a bird

The swallows continue to incubate but the eggs must be due to hatch any day. I think the pied wagtail chicks may have hatched as I've seen the adults with beaks full of food. I will try to investigate this more over the coming week.

That's all the news this week. Check back in next week for another update. 

Take care.

Kathryn

P.S. All photos by me

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