Wildlife Reserve News for May 2011
May 2011

28th May, Saturday,
It has turned cooler, we have had some rain, not much, and it has been quite windy recently. There are many Oxeye daisys, a particularly large clump of them as you approach the pond.

This week a couple of Common Spotted Orchids have appeared, as well as several Hoary Plantains, some of which are over a foot tall, some only a half that size.

Picture of common spotted orchid Picture of Ribwort Plantain

Two more photograps show some of the tall grass stems, and some of the first Rough Hawkbit, which resemble dandelions. Hopefully I can get a better photograph when it is not so windy.

Picture of grass Picture of Rough Hawkbit

22nd May, Sunday,
A few showers recently but basically still dry, the meadows are a riot of yellow, mostly buttercups. It was very windy today, making it difficult to take photographs. However around the pond one of the Flag Iris has flowered and the Nesting Bees have used the logs for raising their young again.

Picture of flag iris Picture of Bee nests

14th May, Saturday, Still no rain, but now the Buttercups, and Yellow Rattle are in flower, and lots of Ragged Robin. At least seven of the nest boxes are occupied, 4 with Great Tit, 3 with Blue Tit, and one with wild bees. At the pond, one of the Flag Irises is about to flower.

6th May, Friday, The dry warm weather continues, plants are starting into flower earlier than previous years.
On entering the Reserve, the yellow of all the buttercups is the first thing to be noticed, walking along the side of Old Churchfurlong, there are Pignut plants (left below), and Ox eye daisy flowers (right below).

Picture of pignut Picture of Oxeye daisy

If you look closely you can see Ragged Robin (left below) in flower, they are also in the Jackdaw. There are also Bugle, and the little white flower of Greater Stitchwort around.
One or two Yellow Rattle flowers (right below) are to be seen, soon they will be in flower in all the meadows.

Picture of Ragged Robin Picture of Yello Rattle

Walking around to the pond, the small blue flower of the Common Vetch (photo below)is to be seen.
The level of the water in the pond continues to recede, but looking  into the murky water, there are many small water boatmen (see below), and on the surface are pond skaters, and in the mud are the footprints of a larger bird.
Picture of bugs in pond

Continuing walking round New Churchfurlong, see the patch of Germander Speedwell, and in the Jackdaw see more Ragged Robin.

Picture of Common Vetch Picture of Small Copper

In the Jackdaw I saw a Small Copper Butterfly resting on a Yellow Rattle plant, (above right).
There are Great Tits and Blue Tits nesting in some of the boxes, and the Lesser Whitethroat can be heard singing, as well as the Whitethroat which can sometimes be seen singing when it does its display flight.

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