Supplementary feeding Day 1

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Delighted to see our first dragonfly of the year today flying over the pond – a Broad Bodied Chaser, newly emerged with lovely shiny wings.  Don’t think it came out of our pond, though. I couldn’t see any evidence of emergence.

The cameras at the pond sides caught this rather lovely photo of a Green Woodpecker having a bath:

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Our Slow Worm colony is going from strength to strength under the reptile sampling squares. Counting the heads here I got to 6:

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It’s the time for Cowslips and we have a lot more that have appeared this year. But this robust plant has been with us since we arrived and is looking particularly fine right now:

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Its 24 hours since we put the RSPB supplementary Turtle Dove seed down and we have been watching to see if it is discovered by the birds.

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Four cameras watching!

The answer seems to be that the birds have not discovered it yet but the foxes have. There was much fox activity overnight along the strip:

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I know that foxes are very partial to sunflower seeds but here single seeds are very widely distributed across a large area – surely it isn’t worth the energy expenditure to seek them out? Clearly it actually is because they were working hard at it during the night.

But there has been a notable absence of birdlife down on the strip other than a couple of Linnets:

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But I hope the word gets around more than this, otherwise these two birds are going to have to hoover up the whole 6kgs themselves by next Thursday when the next lot goes down.

The trail camera also captured this:

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Forever the object of ridicule by my children, this is me photographing insects on the strip. The bare earth is a new habitat mosaic for us and I am keen to see what is using it. We may never see Turtle Doves here, but I am certain that many other plants and animals will benefit from this additional habitat we are providing.

So, what did I see? Well, I saw this Ashy Mining Bee making a little tunnel down into the earth:

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So this isn’t a great image but I know this is an Ashy Mining Bee because I was investigating them last year elsewhere in the meadows. I also saw many spiders and beetles. Here is a lovely emerald ground beetle that was trundling across the open ground:

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It was the most beautiful deep green and I thought it would therefore be easy to identify. However, having subsequently looked up ground beetles, I see that there are a gobsmacking number of species and many of them are in fact green. I should have temporarily halted this little chaps progress and popped him into a pot so that I could get a proper look at him and get my macro lens on him.

Finally, the wonderful Dotted Bee Fly (Bombylius discolor):

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I can’t help having a soft spot for Bee Flies even though they don’t have a cuddly lifestyle, hovering around spring-flying mining bees nests and flicking their eggs in which then hatch and parasitise the bees.

Its been a gorgeous day here. So calm, which is unusual. I didn’t have the right lens on my camera but here is the view from the second meadow this evening looking off towards Thanet:

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