Further to the posting of a few days ago concerning the emergence of a large number of dragonflies, Jacki and I had an excellent view of a female Emperor Dragonfly, yesterday, whilst we were hacking back some of the invasive vegetation on the paths around Ellingham Lake.
Another notable sighting from Saturday, was a Cuckoo which flew, right to left and about ten feet from the front of the Ivy North hide, as I was closing down. Having settled in the clump of trees to the left of the hide it then flew back again, before dropping down into the reeds. I’m guessing that it was a female prospecting for a suitable nest in which to lay an egg.
Noticeable in the now strongly growing reed bed there are a large number of yellow Flag Iris adding a splash of colour to the view.
Other colourful touches are currently being provided by storksbill, cut-leaved geranium, speedwell and buttercups. A couple of plants that thrive in shady places and both have a common name that begins with ‘herb’, are Herb Robert and Herb Bennet. Knowing Jim’s penchant for eating his way around the reserve, I was idly speculating whether either or both would provide suitable accompaniment to his nettle soup!!!
Interestingly these plants were named after our previous and current Reserves Officers!!!!!!
I alluded to a somewhat regal/imperial status of the dragonfly above. If there are any other aristocratic residents on the reserve who are seeking to escape from 18th century revolutionary France, they might well call on the help of our ‘secret agent’, this rather colourful scarlet pimpernel.
But it’s not just the flowers which provide fascinating displays, even the humble dandelion (lion’s tooth) has a pretty seedhead.
On the bird front there are still good numbers of sand martin, swallow and swift in the area. And there is also positive evidence of breeding success for the coots occupying one of the small floating rafts in front of the Ivy South hide, in the form of two rather ‘punk-like’ chicks.
However, it never does to get too excited by the prospects of summer and as if to remind us of things to come the influx of non-breeding mute swan presented a sight reminiscent of another holiday season in the form of ‘Seven swans a swimming’…………….
Only 198 more shopping days!!!!!!!!!!!! Bah Humbug!!