Monday, July 23, 2012

Local Stuff!

Finally - New Paint for 'Quidditch'
With the predicted summer arriving on schedule I've finally managed to get some paint onto the boat, having been waiting since May for at least 3 days without rain, so apologies to my reader for the lack of posts!

With the boat renovations taking priority and while having a break from Brandon Marsh it's meant that I've been able to concentrate more on the marina grounds during any down time. Last year the dog walking meadow which was alive with wildlife, including nesting Skylarks, was prematurely cut mid-summer. This year I asked the marina management if they would consider leaving it wild and thankfully they agreed producing a superb wild meadow area which has already paid dividends. The earlier highlights being successfully nesting Skylarks and Mute Swans, the latter producing six cygnets which are growing by the day.

Green Hairstreak
Yesterday I managed a good scout of the meadow and was delighted with the amount of wildlife seen. Meadow Brown Butterflies were abundant plus various numbers of Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Small Tortoiseshell, Small Skipper, Large White and Small Copper but the surprise of the day was a lone Green Hairstreak along the Hawthorn bank. Dragonflies included Brown Hawker, Black-tailed Skimmer and Common Darter, Damsels seen were Common Blue, Banded Demoiselle and Azure Blue.

Song Thrush
Earlier in the year I'd noticed Grass Snakes nesting in the area used as a dumping ground for the grass cuttings and today I managed a couple enjoying the glorious sunshine. During my walk Linnets seemed plentiful and I'm happy to report that the localised population of Tree Sparrows have also had a good year, I found at least eight. Singing Yellowhammer, Greenfinch, Song Thrush and the constant call of a young Common Buzzard from the adjacent field, plus two Common Tern and Green Woodpecker were the other highlights. A decent number of Swallows were also a constant companion swooping low over the meadow in search of flies.

Dee and I had dinner alfresco for the first time this year and we counted at least 30 Pied Wagtails, including several young birds, which come into Wigram's each night to roost. As darkness fell a walk to the canal junction produced two Daubenton's Bat skimming the water, a distant Little Owl and a Reed Warbler was constantly chattering away in the reed bed.