My day started with a rare sight from my kitchen window, a pheasant walking across the lawn.
Pheasants are not native to the UK and owe their existence here to birds released by shoots. Millions are released in early autumn each year, most will die, either shot, starved, predated or in accidents, but perhaps 3 million will survive. They would probably die out within a few years without the constant introductions.
I was at Fishlake Meadows to help Jo with a few fallen trees over the fences before the cattle arrive next week. I know how much Jo likes her “Things on fence posts” so here is my contribution, a lesser stag beetle.
I also saw a very smart five-spot burnet moth in Ashley Meadow.
Later at Blashford I had the butterfly transects to do, probably for the last time this year as the volunteers will be taking over again next. Still rather few butterflies, but I did see my first marbled white of the year. It was good fro longhorn beetles though.
It has been noticeable that rabbit numbers are increasing again, after several years of scarcity. I saw this one, very alert, as befits the times, on the Lichen Heath.
Rabbits are another introduced species in the UK and were carefully looked after in special Warrens, but as they “breed like rabbits” over time they adapted to our landscape and became better at surviving here without help.
I ended my day back in the garden, this time seeing the first field scabious flower of the year open in the mini-meadow, a favourite with lots of insects.