Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Lime Hawk-moth eggs have hatched!....28/06/2012

The Lime Hawk-moth eggs hatched yesterday (27th) much to my surprise. The eggs were laid on the 15th of June, I had read that it can take from 3-4 days to 2 weeks for them to hatch! They are now happily munching on a Silver Birch leaf. I have to change the leaf every other day and add additional leaves as they grow, which I hope they do! The leaf has to be dry, no rain drops or dew on the leaf and not cold, the plastic container has to be sealed (no air holes), the caterpillars being so tiny can survive on the air that is trapped in the container when the lid is closed. I will update periodically, if they survive.

                      27th June.


                       28th June.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Full Circle....23/06/2012

'Full circle' being the circular walk from Brake Lane down to the bridleway then Brake Mill Pool then the bridleway between the paddocks leading back to Brake Lane. A pleasant sunny start to the day though the wind was to pick up before I had finished my walk. Swallows and Swifts hawking the fields, Skylarks singing up high and a soaring Buzzard were the first birds seen as I walked towards the bridleway and a young Blackbird was spotted waiting patiently to be fed by it's parents. A single Linnet perched on a wire not far away from a Swallow which was trilling away happily, lovely to hear. A Chiffchaff was heard as I walked up the muddy bridleway, I lingered for a while in the hope of seeing Goldcrests but soon gave up as my wellies were beginning to sink into the mud!! With the recent rain the vegetation along the path adjacent to the wood had grown immensely since my last walk along here, it was a case of arms in the air to avoid the nettles and brambles! The only insects seen were the odd Bee! As I neared the end of the path I could hear a lady who was walking on the opposite side of the paddock calling her dog, I soon found out why as a Fox came running under the fence about eight foot away from me. The Fox had not noticed me, it turned to see (supposedly) if the dog had given up the chase! I could see that it's left eye was very red and sore looking and I reckon it was blind in that eye, as it turned to head for the wooded area it then spotted me and fled! It looked to me to be a young fox, I hope that what looked like the loss of sight will not impede it too much. A Jay, Robin, Blue and Great Tit were seen along this stretch of the walk and it was good to watch plenty of Swifts and Swallows and a few House Martins hawking the paddock for insects, great to see that these three species seem to be doing well in this area! The paddock was a colourful sight filled with Poppies and what I believe to be Field Hawkweed, when the sun shone it looked a real treat! The walk along the public footpath close by Brake Mill Pool was not productive with birds but still a pleasing walk and by this time the wind had increased, so what with the noise of the wind through the trees and the noisy Jackdaws (bless em) it was hard to hear anything else that was around! As I walked back along the path I spotted a Green Woodpecker fly to a tree trunk, I often hear them yaffling but not often see them so this was a pleasing sighting. However after uploading my images I noticed that there was also a Great Spotted Woodpecker higher up the same tree trunk!

A good walk today, I just hope my next walk here will be in walking boots and not wellies!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Sling Pool....10/06/2012

An amble in Sling Pool was most enjoyable on what was a rare 'sunny' Sunday morning! The Oxeye Daisies were attracting a lot of interesting insects and a pair of Beautiful Demoiselles were a delight to see as they perched on the vegetation! Bird song was heard from a Blackbird and Song Thrush, Blue Tits and Long-tailed Tits flitted about in the trees and a pair of Treecreepers and a Nuthatch completed the bird species seen! The only butterfly seen was a White species which did not hang around for an ID. It was lovely just standing in the sunshine and watching and listening to all that was
around and about.

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Beautiful Demoiselle (male)



Beautiful Demoiselle (female)



14 Spot Ladybird






I have not had time to ID the insects, all but one that I have had ID'd...I will add species when I (if ever) have some spare time.



Saw-fly...Eurogaster mesomelas




Black Medick




Red Clover




Horsetail

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Cockchafer (May Bug)....30/05/2012

I purchased a well established Geranium plant from a Garden Centre on the 30th of May as a gift for someone and on my return home left it on the patio in my garden. Later in the day I picked up the plant to take it to the recipient and spotted the May bug on the top leaves of the plant. Now the May Bug was either lower down in the plant when I purchased it or it had appeared from mine or neighbouring gardens. There had been a May Bug active at night during the week. It was good to see one so close up, I might add that I do not like to see them in flight, not many insects freak me out but
May Bugs do.lol!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Lime Hawk-moth....15/06/2012

This Lime Hawk-moth was found this morning on a carpark and was very docile, probably the strong winds and heavy rain overnight took it's toll on the moth. I kept it in a plastic box all day indoors to rest and early evening took a few photo's of it. It livened up a little so my plan was to release it this evening, I placed a couple of Buddleia leaves in the box thinking it may have a nibble at them, I have since read that the adult moth has no mouthparts and does not feed, it utilizes fats stored in it's body from it's caterpillar days. Not long after placing the leaves in the box the moth started to lay eggs! I have this evening released the moth in a dry safe place in my garden. I will put the sealed box with the eggs in the shed to keep the eggs cool and see what happens! The Lime Hawk-moth was a first for me and what a little stunner it was!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Catch-up time! (2)

Worcs W T Upton Warren N R....27/05/2012

It had been a long while since I had visited the Reserve, it was looking good! The visit today was to see the reported Ruff at the Flashes in it's 'Summer Colours' and what a splendid bird it was, also the Little Gull which was a joy to view! A very enjoyable visit today!


Ruff




Little Gull




Avocet and chicks



Common Sandpiper



Little Ringed Plover



Mallard family



Chiffchaff



Blue-tailed Damselfly




Common Tern



Warks W T Brandon Marsh N R... 04/06/2012

Today the sun was shining after the previous days deluge of rain when at least the Queen was steadfast and smiled on what was a dreadful weather day! I was so glad I had chosen to visit Brandon Marsh today as the day turned out to be one of the better weather days of the week. A Pied Wagtail pair were a treat to watch as they collected insects for their young, their nest was underneath a solar panel on the visitor centre roof! A good place to keep dry and out of the wind! A Jay was encountered on the way to the hides and posed momentarily for me, unusual for a Jay! Below the windows of the Carlton Hide in the vegetation were several Banded Demoiselles resting in the sunshine, lovely to see so many and so close! Oystercatchers flew across the pool several times as they collected worms for their youngsters and a Hobby flew to a distant dead tree and perched there for several minutes, my first Hobby of the year! Other highlights were Sedge Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Reed Bunting, Song Thrush, Bullfinch, Blackcap, Chaffinch, Wren, Dunnock and Great spotted Woodpecker. Buzzard, Sand Martin, Redshank (1), Lapwing, Greylag Geese and Common Tern. Though it was sunny for the best part of the day it was still cool in shady areas, which is probably the reason the only butterflies seen were the odd White species which did not settle for an ID to be obtained. The Sensory Garden has had a makeover and looks really good now and when the plants are established and in flower it will smell nice too! A big thumbs up to the WWT on their achievements with the Sensory Garden, it will be a great asset to the reserve! As is the norm it was another great day at Brandon Marsh!





Pied Wagtail




Song Thrush






Reed bunting (female)




Oystercatchers.




Jay





Hobby



View from the Carlton Hide.




Banded Demoiselle




Banded Demoiselle (pair?) and a Common Blue Damselfly. I believe that the female Demoiselle in the top left hand corner of the image is a female Banded but not 100% sure. Comments will be welcomed concerning the ID.


Bittersweet



Beaked Hawksbeard


Common Spotted Orchid