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Sunday, May 21st 2017

Jack, on Salisbury Plain, like our bird ringers at Foxglove, has been busy ringing chicks.  He emailed his news. 

'I hope you are well and no doubt you are busy.  I'm struggling to keep up with nests at moment which is good, with about 80 or more nests found.  Good numbers of Dunnock and Whitethroat, with 15 Whitethroat on eggs as of today.  I have already ringed  many Dunnock, some Blackcap and two broods of Chiffchaff.  Couple of pics of Lotti (Long-tailed Tit) that had just fledged.  I managed to catch 6 of around 8 or 9 but I'm not as nimble as a used to be!'

Long -tailed tits

Long-tailed tit

Foxglove bird ringers are busy and waiting for more information this evening as to their next visits to large and small boxes.  There are still many boxes to check and return to.

Leanne found this nest of Robin chicks.  We commented on the fact that it is not a brilliant nest, but the chicks look well fed and ready to fledge soon.  Can you find it?

Robin nest

Robin nest

Spring is well on its way although the weather has not always been spring-like.  Mayfly often hatch in great numbers and are food for many a bird feeding hungry young.  This one was waiting for the temperature to rise before heading off back to water.  Their lives are very short, a few days at the most.  They have no mouth parts and so do not feed, once mated and eggs laid, they die.

Mayfly

A Green Veined White butterfly was also hanging on to grass waiting for some sun.  It will lay eggs on a wide variety of plants, including Cuckooflower, Large Bitter-cress and Jack-by-the-hedge.

Green Veined White

Large Red Damselflies, the first of the 'dragons and damsels' to appear, were recorded at the beginning of May, but the cooler weather reduced the sightings to nil.  The photographers who love creepy crawly beasties, bemoan the cooler weather.  When the sun comes out and it is warm, so do the inverts, which is really good news.  But very often they are so active they do not sit still long enough to be photographed!  This one was caught just before it warmed up!

Large Red Damselfly

Some people may say that I am very protective of the orchids that grow at Foxglove, which is very true.  There is a map in the office known as the 'Orchid Map' which highlights all the areas where orchids can be found.  Anyone armed with a strimmer has to check this map before heading off to strim.  (Thank you for being so careful.)  The Northern Marsh Orchids are the next to flower after the EPOs and they are in bud in their usual place, except one.  Not only is it growing away from the usual areas it is in flower.

Northern Marsh Orchid


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