Monday, 25 June 2018

into summer

the seeming jump from winter to summer has had varying effects on our wildlife.
there is a distinct lack of butterflies at the moment presumably down to the timing of the cold snap. so the new season larger butterflies such as peacock and comma and not showing (yet?). these species overwinter as hibernating adults and produce a fresh generation in early summer but so far only one fresh small tortoisehell. Otherwise a couple of large skippers probably the best.
Similarly with dragon/damselflies with a very poor showing so far just the odd banded demoiselle and a few common blues with nothing on the increasingly overgrown wetland.
Birds are still just about singing with a garden warbler on Compton rough today (and one in paddocks 10 days ago; 2 chaffinches and rather subdued chiffchaff (3) and a blackcap.
on the canal mallard seem to have had a very good year with fresh broods still appearing (a brood of nine this morning. The pale duck which had a broken wing last year has 5 nearly full grown juveniles all normal darker plumage. The white necked female with the dark male type plumage has three young with same plumage as her and a normal juvenile,
By contrast not a good year for moorhens with 4 fully grown young by MS centre being the only good news. The complete lack of any birds between paddock view and aldersly junction is a surprise and only 4 between the junction and newbridge apparently with no young.
House martins seem to be back in good numbers eventually but not sure about swifts both species over a week late. black headed gulls have already returned to the fields and mingle with the mixed age lesser black backs.
Finally for the 3rd year running a loan adult common tern at pool hall.