News for October to December 2011
Alan's Report for the year.

There has been quite a lot of activity by moles in the fields recently,  they make tunnels just under the grass, in their search for earthworms which are their main food. How many moles there are will probaby remain a mystery.

12th November, Saturday,
The sheep have been removed from the fields, leaving the grass quite short now, they may be back later if there is suffucient grass growth to warrant it.
The water level in the pond is still very low, and this gave a chance for members of the group to plant, amongst others, Bogbean, Soft and Hard Rush, Creeping Bent, Lesser Spearwort, that had been supplied by A.V.D.C. Hopefully these will add to the plants already there, and begin to hide the muddy banks of the pond. The fact that the level of water in the pond varies so much does not help some of the plants which like to be in much damper conditions than have been experienced this summer.

pont being planted

22nd October, Saturday,
The sheep are now in the fields.

picture of sheep

The water level in the pond is very low, less that a foot deep, however Water Boatmen are still to be seen.  Overhead in the area are flocks of Fieldfare, identified by the 'chuck chuck' sound they make in flight, they have arrived from Northern Scandinavia, Russia or Iceland, where they spend the summer. This member of the Thrush family will be around until spring. They are generally seen in flocks,  often spread out across pastureland looking for food.

1st October, Saturday,
for the last few days we have been enjoying what is often known as an 'Indian Summer' with daytime temperatures peaking at 29C and it still being 15C overnight, with clear  skies. There are still blackberries around for the picking, the grass in the reserve has grown and is now about 3 inches high. Sheep are expected to be put into the field soon, so dog walkers are asked to keep their dogs on a lead for the few weeks the sheep will be there.

Picture of Black Poplar Picture of hawkbit

The Black Poplar has lost most of its leaves,(above left) and some of the others are turning brown, it remains to be seen if it stays dry and we get a really colourful autumn. This hawkbit shown on the right, was about the only flower to be seen on the reserve, not exactly certain what it is, possibly a Cat's Ear, judging by the small 'ears' that can just be seen on the stem, but could be a Marsh Hawk's-beard, (Crepis Paludosa), but probably not as there are purported to be over 250 varieties of this type of plant, in Britain.

Picture of Comma butterfly Picture of Willowherb seed head

Around the pond was an interesting place, with the seed head of the Hemp Agrimony making a show (above left), and above right that of a willowherb, that has found its own way here. The curly apperance of the seed head results after the seed pods have opened to eject the seeds.

Picture of Small Copper butterfly

Ok I lied about the hawkbit being the only flower, as the Water Mint on which the butterfly is feeding on is still in flower. The Butterfly is a Small Copper, which will be the last of the adults to be seen this year, hopefully it will have produced some caterpillers, which live on sorrel, and will survive to grow into next years butterflies.

Web Site topics

About the Reserve
Visitors Guide

The Pond
Pond Plants
Bugs - Insects
The Spinney

Photo Gallery
Contact Us

Return or Go to
Stewkley Village web site