|Six Sedgies (c) Bark|
After a few very dry months the rains have certainly come at last. The pools on Greenaways have refilled and the Ashgrave scrapes are much wetter. The grasses have shot up and when the sun has occasionally appeared between the showers the moor is verdant and lush. The refreshed foliage is full of insects and the birds with chicks to feed are busy foraging and provisioning their broods.
|Common Tern (c) Bark|
The rain has not benefited everything however, the Tern colony, which was doing so very well ten days ago, is much reduced. There are now just six birds still sitting and only three chicks can be seen on the raft. They are at very different stages of development and so must come from different broods. The heavy rainstorms and chill winds will have taken their toll on the downy chicks.
|Tern Raft Before the rain (c) Bark|
|Blue and Great Tits and a Young Robin (c) Bark|
|Sedge Family (c) Derek Lane|
|Blackcap (c) Bark and Wren (c) Paul Wyeth|
|Tufty family (c) Bark|
On and over the reedbeds there is lots of activity by the Marsh Harriers. As yet however, we have not observed female Bitterns making their regular and predictable feeding flights. There have just been occasional more random sightings.
|Bittern (c) Derek Lane|
There are a number of Warblers setting territories up for second broods. There is a particularly loud and persistent male Common Whitethroat advertising his presence by the kissing gate with almost continuous calling and aerial displays. Sedge Warblers are still bickering with neighbours and the Grasshopper Warbler has started reeling again in the carpark field.
|Common Whitethroat (c) Bark|
Cuckoos are still chasing and calling, and the females are still looking for opportunities to drop their eggs into Reed Warbler nests. They will not linger long however once mid-summer day has passed.
|Cuckoo (c) Bark|
|Hobby and prey (c) Bark|
Invertebrate life is burgeoning. As it gets warmer more and more Dragonflies and Butterflies will be on the wing. Just over ten days ago before the rains set in, I spotted my first Meadow Brown of the year and there were four or five Small Tortoiseshells along the bridle way in the last weekend. There are strange and interesting bugs to be found if one looks carefully enough.
|Golden -bloomed Grey longhorn Beetle (c) Heather Banyard|
|My first Meadow Brown of the year.|