Fence post leftovers

Last Friday Bob had some dead trees at Blashford Lakes that needed felling, so I headed over to be his first aid cover. It was so great to venture further afield and get to have a look around the reserve again. The wildflower seed matting next to the welcome hut and around the new pond was packed with ragged robin.

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Ragged robin

On Monday I checked the Ashley Meadow fence line to make sure it was all in tact ahead of the cattle coming on sometime in June. On the last stretch I found the remains of what I think was a rat, given the size of the tail, on one of the fenceposts. As there are many birds of prey at Fishlake Meadows I wouldn’t like to say for certain what type of bird took it, but I imagine it much be quite a big one.

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Suspected rat tail

I then walked the rest of the paths, seeing lots of damselflies and what I’m fairly sure was a downy emerald dragonfly, but it flew away before I could get a good look. All around the reserve lots of common comfrey is in flower with its variable flower colours, it’s a great nectar source for many insects and a food plant of the scarlet tiger moth caterpillar.

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Common comfrey in flower

Bittersweet is also coming in to flower along the permissive path, its flowers are so striking with the contrasting deep purple and bright yellow, they are great to see. As it’s a member of the nightshade family, the berries that develop later are poisonous. Still, it’s bright coloured flowers are great to look at.

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More and more insects are around at the moment, this hoverfly, which I’m fairly sure is helophilus pendulus, common name sun fly, was nectaring on a rose. Its latin name translates to “dangling marsh lover” and is typically found around boggy areas. There is a massive diversity in hoverflies and they can be difficult to identify, a group I’m keen to try and learn more about.

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helophilus pendulus or sun fly

2 thoughts on “Fence post leftovers

  1. Hey Jo. An easy way to learn more about the ids of the Hoverflies if you have time is to go on UK Hoverflies Facebook page. They collate all sightings and you will find some really useful info on there 🙂

  2. Thanks Jo glad to see that Blashford is blooming🌻🦋🌿🐝🦟 We look forward to getting back to our volunteering and butterfly recording. Although we are seeing quite a bit in our garden at the moment plenty of bird activity so that’s nice.

    Angela & Ralph

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