Wildlife Roundup

Friday, March 13th 2020

There was variable weather, to say the least during the day.  Cool wind, gentle then strong, drizzle then heavy rain, dark clouds followed by sun, but this did not deter the volunteers working, nor some wildlife making an appearance.

Birds are returning to Spigot Mere.  Two Oystercatchers were on the small island, doing some gentle stretching exercises!

Later it was bath time and then a preening session.  

They had been joined by a Lapwing

Pied Wagtails have also been seen around the Mere.

Something bright stood out on the bund and it was Coltsfoot.  This dandelion like flower appears early in the spring, followed in summer by large leaves shaped liked a colt's foot, hence its name.

A movement on the boardwalk proved to be, on closer inspection, a brown hairy caterpillar.  We double checked its identification and confirmed that it was a Ruby Tiger moth caterpillar.  We often find these on the boardwalk in autumn as they head to a suitable hibernation site. 

Water Crickets were also to be found on one of the fast flowing streams.  These can be spotted much earlier and later in the year than Pond Skaters, that prefer the calm of still water.

In the blog on frogs it mentions that temperature plays an important role in the hatching of the spawn.  The spawn in the Activity Room in the tank is hatching.  In the ponds it is showing no sign of development.


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