Midsummer

As escapism, I am going to think about our lovely meadows which are soon to be no longer to be in the European Union, but you can sit in them and stare nostalgically out at the European Union across the Channel should you wish.

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Pyramidal Orchid

We have been away and a fortnights absence was never going to be a good idea at this time of year and what a difference they have made. Everything feels overgrown and teetering on the edge of being out of control. However, this lovely Pyramidal Orchid has appeared – very lovely but this seems to be the only orchid this year.

The trap cameras have been working hard:

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A pounce

Here is a little vignette of three photos of fledglings – my guess is that they are two baby blackbirds without their tail feathers yet. At 5.13am they are sitting over what is a major predator motorway – the trap camera catches a constant stream of foxes and badgers up and down this path:

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At 5.16, heartstoppingly, one appears to fall:

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But we have ourselves a happy ending because at 5.24am they were both sitting back on branches. They needed to get out of there though, so hopefully that what they then did.

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There is so much more to tell you. Very noticeably, there are currently so many six spot burnet moths around.

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Six spot burnet moths on Knapweed
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On Scabious

Their underwings are solid scarlet and so when they fly it looks like a black furry body and scarlet wings – very exotic.

In the pond, there are basking newtlets and large tadpoles with legs:

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Tadpoles growing legs
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Newtlets with gills

The quality of these photos are not great – we plan to get an underwater camera at some stage – but it is lovely to see that these baby amphibians are still surviving in there.

Under our reptile sampling squares we found a heavily pregnant lizard – viviparous young are born in July. I didn’t quite have my camera in position and so nearly missed her but here she is:

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Pregnant lizard

Finally for now, at Easter we put up a piece of equipment – an insect hotel but with test tubes so that you can take the front off and see what is using the tunnels:

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The Schwegler insect hotel
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Top row, second right hole has been glued up.
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The tube is now full of green caterpillars.

This is all new to us and we have no idea what these caterpillars could be. Surely a moth or a butterfly of a size to have such large caterpillars could not have fitted through the hole to lay the eggs? There is another wax plug at the far end of the tube so it did get in there. We will look again in a few days to see whats been going on.

So, thats all for now. We have rung the farmer today who we hope is going to come to cut the meadows this year. He was out with his cows and will ring us back. Getting the meadows cut and the arisings taken away is the most important thing we need to achieve this year here so all fingers are crossed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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