Should have put shorts on…

It was still looking as bit grey and damp when I left home this morning so having hummed and hawed a bit decided against shorts, and soon regretted it! What a glorious day at last – even opening up first thing the signs were looking promising with bumblebee’s buzzing about all over the place, but particularly over the lichen heath:
Bumblebee_resize

Fortunately the recent warm weather has bought on their nectar sources too, with the wild daffodils now flowering at their best, primroses, early gorse, lesser celandines and willow all flowering to greater or lesser extents too:

Willow catkins_resize Wild daffodils_resize

Later on in the day the warm, sunny weather bought out several butterflies, including plenty of brimstones as well as comma, red admiral, peacock and small tortoiseshell. As you might expect the light trap had bought in a reasonable haul of moths – Hebrew characters by far being the most numerous, but with large numbers of common quakers and some chestnuts. I think there was a yellow horned and a pale pinion, pictured below for someone wiser than I to correct me as necessary(!) as well as a picture of by far the most impressive, the oak beauty:

Yellow horned?

Yellow horned?

Pale pinion?

Pale pinion?

Oak beauty

Oak beauty

Lots of Hebrew characters caught last night.

Lots of Hebrew characters caught last night.

I spent the morning checking and preparing the river dipping area which will see the first of many river studies next week and also having a chat with anglers suspected of scoping out possible “swims” that I encountered shortly after having removed a load of rubbish from a couple of swims that have clearly been used previously. Ed was wondering what he might get the volunteer team gainfully employed in doing now that tree clearance must stop for spring and I think one task at least might be blocking off some of the areas most obviously in regular use…

Bird wise it is getting to that “in-between” stage of things with both woodland birds around the feeders and wildfowl on the water being noticeably much more scarce than even this time last week. That said there have been chiff-chaffs singing on the reserve today and the sand martins surely can’t be far away.

 

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