This and That

Sunday, July 13th 2014

The bird ringers were ringing in a reed bed at another site this morning. 

Net ride in the reed bed

These net rides were cut earlier in the week.  Care is taken to ensure that the nets are above the water.  As always the nets are checked regularly and any birds caught removed gently for ringing.

Net ride in the reed bed

Birds caught included Reed Warblers and Kingfisher.  there were two Kingfishers in one net!  When checking these birds both a Kingfisher and a Reed Warbler had been ringed elsewhere. It will be interesting to find out where they had come from!

Yesterday a Moorhen was seen attacking a Water Vole on the wetland!

The first Common Darter of the year was photographed by Jenny.

Common Darter

Yesterday a visitor with the DTNFC saw a butterfly fluttering on the ground.  Unusually he was able to get close and realised that it had a damaged wing, so it was carefully placed in a pot.  (When butterflies emerge from their pupa they need to hang around and pump air through their wings to extend them.  This is a very vulnerable time. This one had obviously had a problem so one wing was crumpled.)  On closer investigation it was found to be a Purple Hairstreak Butterfly.  The larva feed on oak leaves.  Unfortunately the photographs are only suitable for ID purposes and not good enough for the blog.  This is yet another new species for the reserve.

Pepper Saxifrage is flowering and is extending its area, now growing along the access road and in the Scrapes.  The flat topped flower head is an ideal place for the newly hatched Soldier Beetles to await prey.

Soldier Beetles on Pepper Saxifrage

Glennis and Brian spotted this moth on a bridge rail and separately identified it as a Gold Swift moth, which has not been recorded since 2008.

Gold Swift moth

The Bradford Botany Group arrived this morning just as the rain ceased.  They spent the day walking around the reserve looking at, examining and recording the flora. Over 200 species of plant were noted. 

Bradford Botany Group

There is one plant of Saw-wort on the reserve.  It does not flower until late summer.  On heading back to their cars another of these plants was found in a totally different habitat.  We are looking forward to both plants flowering.

Saw-wort

Other sightings this weekend include the damselflies, Dark Green Fritillary, Ringlet and Meadow Brown Butterflies and an explanation as to why there are no longer toadpoles in the ponds - they have left the ponds as tiny toads! 

A Kingfisher was seen on the Beck.  This is good news, as part of the winter habitat work was to remove some of the overhanging  trees to open up the flight path for Kingfisher, Dipper and wagtails.


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