The Warmth of the Sun

Friday, August 4th 2017

The heavy showers were thankfully absent today which finally allowed the bees to get out and gather some pollen. The picture below shows a bee with full pollen baskets on their hind legs. The colour of the pollen is ditated by the flower the bee has gathered from but can be white, cream, blue, yellow, etc.  

The weather conditions have been far from good for bees; wet, windy and colder than normal. It is because of this we have had to supplement their natural food with this special bee syrup made up of fructose, glucose and water.

With the sun all the insects emerge, benefiting all. Birds will have been hit by the lack of insects, so it was good to see the large numbers of hoverflies on the various flowers. Whilst going about my outdoor duties I noticed this Wolf Spider carrying her spiderlings on her back, she will do this until they can fend for themselves You can often see these spiders carrying around their egg sacks, especially on the board walks by the pond dipping platform. Wolf spiders do not have a web but chase their prey to catch them.

We were fortunate to have seen a family of Stoats on the training area behind the reserve.

As we drove closer they were oblivious to us as they played around this puddle enabling us to take these pics.

We only ever saw four stoats at a time, but there was possibly more as they have litters from 6 to 12 young.

Although a predator of rabbits and other small mammals and birds, they are also predated by birds of prey and foxes, having a short life span being of just 1.5 years on average. The black tipped tail is the main indicator in the field that these are stoats, in the weasel it is absent. 


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