News for June July and August 2013
27th August, Tuesday, The weather has been sunny and dry for a few days and the hay was baled up. This year there were 27 large wrapped bales.

View of baled hay

24th August, Saturday,
The hay that was cut on Tuesday, due to poor weather, was still awaiting drying and baling.

Photo of the cut hay

Near the pond the red berries of the Guelder Rose show up brightly on a dull day, whilst behind the Purple Loose strife in the photo below right, can be seen the low level of the pond. Even so there were Dragonflies and Damsel flies about a few days earlier.

Picture of fruitPicture of Purple Loosestrife

20th August, Tuesday,
The hayfield was cut today, hopefully it can be turned, and the weather will remain dry so that it can be baled later in the week.

Near the pond this Robin's pincushion was found on a rose in the hedge. All this growth is caused by a tiny  gall wasp, that lays an egg in a bud of the rose, the grub of which  lives and feeds on the host plant, which in tern grows all the red material in defence of the irritant . Apparently it does not harm the host rose plant.

Robins Pin Cushion

The water level in the pond is very low, there being only about a foot of water, and as the level of water in the pond is connected to the water table in the ground around, it will take a lot of rain to replenish it. A couple of pond plants are in flower, on the left below is Gipsywort, and on the right a Flowering Rush, which has not flowered previously.

Picture ofPicture of Flowering Rush

7th August, Wednesday,
In a small area of shorter grass is a good display of Devil's bit Scabious, which is proving attractive to several types of butterfly. Below left is a Small Copper butterfly, which  is as its name implies quite a small butterfly, and is noticeable because of the very bright copper colour of the upper wing surface, they are also to be seen on patches of bare earth. Below right is a Gatekeeper Butterfly, which at first glance looks like a Meadow Brown, but it is slightly smaller.
Picture of Small Copper ButterflyPicture of Gatekeeper Butterfly

Another visitor was the Common Blue shown in the two photos below, one showing, but not doing justice to the bright blue colour of the upper wing surface, and the other showing the pattern on the lower wing surface.

Picture of Common Blue ButterflyPicture of Common Blue Butterfly

The Devil's Bit Scabious (below left) were planted in the reserve earlier this year from plants raised from seed off site, the area chosen was mown short in the early part of the year to allow the plants to become established and not swamped by the grass which has been very vigourous this year.
Another introduction is Bladder Campion, which has been grown on a bare patch of earth which is sub soil and came from the grave yard. Being sub soil it should be of lower fertility, and suit wild flowers better. The Bladder Campion, is a white flower attractive to night flying moths, and can tend to look a bit tired in the days time. At night time it  scented to attract insects and moths.
Picture of Devils Bit ScabiousPicture of Bladder Campion

1st August, Thursday,
very hot today, in the reserve grasshoppers can be heard calling. It was quite gusty, but there were  many butterflies, Meadow Brown, Small Skippers, Large White (below left), Brimstone, a few Peacock, a Painted Lady, and I just spotted a Small Copper basking on some bare earth before it flew off.
The Painted Lady (below right), although often seen here, is not generally a native to this area, it being too cold for it to overwinter, but migrates from North Africa, probably assisted by the warm weather we are experiencing.

Picture ofLarge White ButterflyPicture of painted Lady

The pond is low, but there were blue Damson Flies, and several Red Dragonflies seen previously, but now they have paired up, and were flying about dipping to the water surface laying eggs.

27th July, Saturday,
more hot weather, without much rain, the grass is very lush, with lots of seed heads shown below left, and in close up below right.

Picture of grass seed headPicture of grass seed head

Amongst the grass and knapweed flower heads butterflies were on the wing, most noticable were the large white, left below, with a few Gatekeeper in the hedgerows. Also making the mostof the Knapweed were Bees, below right,

Picture of Large White butterflyPicture of bee

and what appeared on first sight to be greenfly, but on closer inspection look like young Grasshoppers,  where in the photos below the long rear leg is a bit of an identification clue, and apart from being green they do look like grasshoppers.

Picture ofyoung grass hoppersPicture of young grass hopper

The pond is now quite low, but two different Dragonflies were seen; the red bodied one shown below left, and a Four Spot Chaser which I was unable to photograph. Nearby a Small Skipper butterfly was  resting on a broad grass stem, below right.

Picture ofdragon flyPicture of skipper butterfly

20th July Saturday,
The weather has been very hot this week, up to 28C on several days, in consequence the pond is quite down on level. The buttercups are mostly over, and the grass is quite long, but Yellow Rattle is in flower, as if it could not germinate in the cold wet spring, but has decided to put in a late appearance.  Greater Burnet and Field Scabious is in flower, and there is lots of Meadowsweet. There is no sign of Spiny Restharrow yet, and its a bit early for the Devil's bit Scabious.
Meadow Brown and Ringlet butterflies are to be seen, along with the odd Marbled White, and Coma.
Near the pond this bee was seen attending to the hole in the logs, maybe building new nest chambers and laying eggs.
view of bee

The bee lays several eggs in the hole, each with a supply of food for the emerging larvae to feed on and each in its own compartment, the hole is then sealed with leaves and mud, as the photo below left shows. Somehow the larvae know when to pupate into bees, so that they emerge in the correct order,  the one near the opening first.

Picture of bee nest holesPicture of dragonfly

Although the pond is low, the dragonfly shown above right was seen, possibly a darter, but it does seem to be a different type to those seen last year. There were one or two Damsel flies, and Waterboatmen are to be seen in the water..

7th July, Sunday, A villagers pond was being emptied, and so the chance was taken to move 2 frogs and several tadpoles to the pond in the Reserve. One of the frogs is seen in the photo, below left.

Picture of frogPicture of tadpole
The tadpoles were quite big, having reached the stage in their development to becoming a frog, of having lost the external gills, which permitted them to breathe from the water, and have developed air breathing lungs, meaning they have to surface now and again to breathe air. They are developing rear legs, but the front legs have yet to emerge, and the tail is still large, absorption of the tail being the last stage in the developmet into a frog.
Hopefully there may be frogs in the pond next year, but with many predators such as Herons about that is not guaranteed.

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. Durinng thie walk there were many Chimney Sweeper moths to be seen.
1st June, Saturday, The week has been wet and cool, 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.

Look back at:-
May 2013
April 2013
January to March 2012
October to December 2012
August and September 2012
June and July 2012
May 2012
April 2012
January to March 2012
October to December 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
January and February 2011
Read the news notes from 2010

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