News for May 2013
30th June, Sunday, Wildlife Reserve Guided walk
Once again Matt Dodds, a Bucks CC Wildlife Diversity Oficer, gave an interesting guided walk around the Reserve to about 15 people.
1st June, Saturday, The week has been wet and coool, but friday finally saw some sunshine and wamer weather. Today the Reserve is a blaze of Buttercups, with white Cow Parsley at the base of hedges which have May blossom on them. Rather later this year than usual. One or two Ragged Robin have started to flower this week.

view of buttercups

The churchyard has Daisies, Plantains, a few buttercups, and lots of Ox-eye Daisies, but there the grass is growing strongly in the recent wet weather. There is one Hawkbit, and usually there are lots more. The Churchyard seems to be much in advance of the Reserve, maybe it is more fertile ground, or more sheltered.

26th May Sunday. Walking through the Rec towards the Reserve in the evening, a brilliant red Bull Finch was seen in a couple of places flitting around on the higher branches of the trees. And in the pond a couple of Newts were to be seen at the bottom of the pond, while various pond skaters were walking on the water surface. 

Picture of ButtercupPicture of sorrel

The two pictures above were taken in the strong evening sunlight, on the left is a buttercup, and on the right Sorrel, in both you can get an idea of how many buttercups there now are to be seen.

25th May, Saturday.
Finally some warmer weather, and the fields are full of Buttercups, so many that I take them for granted and didn't take a photograph. Hidden in the grass is the Bugle flower, below left, however there are more in the church yard, which are easier to see.

Picture of BuglePicture of grass head

The photo above right shows a grass seed head, of which there are several types to see.

At present there are plenty of Pignut to be seen, they look rather like a small version of Cow Parsley, and on the right below is a fly that I happened to include in the photograph, but what sort of fly I dont know, but one clue is that it folds its wings back over the body, rather than then sticking out like those of house flies, and it has hairy legs.

Picture of pignutPicture of fly

4th May, Saturday. This year seems to have been a good year for Dandelions, (below left), they are everywhere, in profusion, on grassy banks, and lawns in the village, and there are plenty in the reserve. Even allowing that they make a good show, with their long tap root, they are difficult to eliminate, as they can regrow from small parts of the root that are left in the ground. One good use is to make Dandelion wine, this should be a good year if the number of flowers is anything to go by, does anybody in the village make Dandelion wine?

Picture of DandelionPicture of  Ladys Smock
The Cuckoo flower has appeared, even if the Cuckoo bird is a bit hard to hear these days. The more normal name for the very pale Cuckoo flower is Lady's Smock, (above right), it likes damp places, in fact there is one growing in 3 inches of water in the Reserve Pond. 
Below left  shows what is known as an Umbelliferous plant, a large family of similar looking plants, this could be  Cow Parsley, which is a  plant that grow in profusion on roadside verges in the summer.  Cow Parsley has hollow stems, and children used to cut the stems to use as pea shooters, the peas being the fruit of the Hawthorn. However it could also be one of several of the plants of this family which are poisionous, so beware. On the right below is a flower of Field Mouse-ear, a lone example of which was seen.
Picture of cow parsleyPicture of

Now is a good time to see the Adders Tongue Fern, a rather small unspectacular plant, which is actually quite rare, but is to be found in all three fields, and will soon be swamped by the grass and other taller plants. (below).
picture of Adders Tongue Fern

It will be worthwhile visiting the churchyard over the next few weeks, at present there are cowslips to be seen. The grass  is not going to be cut again until mid July, to allow several different wild flowers to mature. (below).
picture of churchyard
 This is the area to keep an eye on.

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