Saturday, June 25, 2011

Rain and Shine

Marbled White @ Brandon
I’m not sure about the current drought situation in certain parts of the UK but it would certainly seem that locally we’ve most definitely had our fair share. On the three occasions this week I’ve been out and about I’ve not managed to dodge the showers particularly well.

Despite the weather though it’s not been too bad a week and a search of Brandon’s meadow areas on Tuesday and Thursday produced plenty of insects and a decent haul of Butterflies; Marble White, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Comma, Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral, Green-vein White, Small Copper, Small Heath, Small Tortoiseshell and Ringlet, the latter of which are now out in good numbers.

Common Spotted Orchids are now out in excellent numbers throughout the reserve and finally the team managed the first Bee Orchid of the year, thanks to a tip off from one of the regulars.

Hoverfly Volucella bombylans
As you would imagine at this time of year the birding has not thrown up anything out of the ordinary, the exception being 2 or 3 Green Sandpipers, which have been regular at Brandon more recently. Although the birdsong is not as prolific there’s still plenty to tune into with Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Song Thrush, and more reeling Grasshopper Warblers at Sheepfield, Newlands and Carlton Hide, second broods perhaps?

One of the local Brandon Marsh Cuckoo’s is still hanging around too and with Cuckoo’s in mind I thought I’d give a mention to a really fascinating site being run by the BTO. The site enables you to follow 5 electronically tagged Cuckoo’s as they begin their journeys back south. Each of the five has a name and each have their very own blog, people are always telling me that all us bloggers are Cuckoo, so here’s the evidence, enjoy! Tracking Cuckoo's

Glow Worm
Finally, last night 21 of the Brandon Team, which included friends and family, enjoyed an Italian evening at the Brandon Badgers Tearoom, which was organised by Sarah who runs it. After a really enjoyable meal a number of us braved the appalling conditions to venture out onto the reserve in search of Glow Worms. I’m delighted to say that 8 of these wonderful little beetles had themselves braved the weather and enchanted us despite the deluge!

Oh and yes I feel I must give a mention to our beloved chairman, Paul Norman, who put on the evenings 5* entertainment! Its always-advisable not to place your fleece next to burning candles!