Hi(low)light of the day was an injured young greylag goose which some visitors saw being hit by a car on Ellingham Drove. Fortunately they managed to catch it and bring in to the centre. We don’t have facilities or expertise to deal with injured wildlife, but there is a gentleman living close by who is able and prepared to give his time to rescuing wildlife and was willing to look after this bird.
At this time of year the initial frenzy of bird breeding activity has largely abated, many adults will no longer be holding breeding territories and are not so vocal. As they start to moult their plumage they will be less nimble and need to keep under cover, away from predators and birdwatchers. A larger number of the waterfowl are now spending time simply loafing about on the lakes. For instance some 400 coot have been counted on Ibsley water. I was asked to count them today, but unfortunately didn’t have a telescope with me. Some birds, though, are easier to see as were the little egret and grey heron.
More a time for insect and wildflower interest at the moment. Trolling up to the seasonal path to check on the ponies we have grazing the reserve, I noticed a profusion of pink, yellow and purple from hemp agrimony, fleabane and a mixture of spear thistles and creeping thistles.
The flowers look sort of ‘washed out’ from the side view, but are magnificently intricate and olourful from above
Fleabane flowers are, perhaps, one of the the richest yellow colours on the reserve,
especially where they occur in large clumps,
whilst the delightful purple shades of spear thistle are a welcome attractant to many insects.
even without accompanying insects the plants are a captivating structurally
although an awful lot of the creeping thistle have now set wonderfully fluffy seed heads
When I took this shot I was unaware of the small tortoiseshell – a sort of bonus really.
As I hinted above, there are plenty of insects around, but the heat is keeping most of them fairly active – so tricky to photograph, but I was quite pleased with this shot of a common blue damselfly.
The light trap is now in more regular use, following a period when a bird (robin I believe) was using it as a larder. Pick of today’s ‘catch’ were this almost butterfly like moth, a large emerald.
not to be outdone by an impressive garden tiger moth,
and an equally impressive tanner beetle.