Monday, 27 May 2013

Sunny Bank Hoilday Sunday

A welcome bit of sunshine enticed me to the Farm twice on Sunday. On my first visit I arrived at 0630 and there were two cars in the car park - not often that happens so early in the morning. One of the cars belonged to 3 students from Falmouth Uni and I met them at the information centre - they had been looking for the fox cubs for an hour and a half. Luckily I showed them where they were and all 3 cubs were out. On my morning walk I saw Lesser Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher and a Grasshopper Warbler.

I returned at about 1430 and the sun was shining. Whilst walking round I saw lots of butterflies and dragonflies. The list of odonata on the wing to date (in sightings order): Large Red Damselfly, 4 Spotted Chaser, Azure Damselfly, Broad Bodied Chaser, Common Blue Damselfly, Beautiful Damselfly. The Emperors should be emerging in the next week or two as will any Red Veined Darters that are present. Here are a few images (a bit soft as they were taken hand held).

Broad Bodied Chaser

Large Red Damselfly

Azure Damselfly
Butterflies seen to date are: Green Veined White, Small Tortoiseshell, Large Skipper, Large White, Small White, Peacock, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Small Copper, Orange Tip. As long as it is sunny our Marsh Fritillaries will emerge around the 6th June.
Small Copper
I also took some pics of an adder and a slow worm.


Friday, 17 May 2013

Green Winged Orchids and we are cute

I mentioned in my last post that you may be able to find Green Winged Orchids in early June - well found these today:

One of my friend also told me that he had seen 2 fox cubs. I waited for 20 minutes at the location and ...
then there were 3!!! They are so cute.
Great Day!!!!



Sunday, 12 May 2013

Spring and early summer at Windmill Farm National Nature Reserve

Windmill Farm has something for everyone at this time of year. For the botanists amongst you the Three Lobed Crowfoot (picture below) is still in flower – this rare track loving plant can be found in the gateway on the approach to Ruan Pool.

The farm also has other rarities such as Pygmy Rush and Yellow Century. The first few weeks of June should welcome the arrival of Green Winged Orchids.

For reptile lovers there are many Adders, Slow Worms and Common Lizards to be found. Many live under the reptile sheets that I have put down over the years. Be careful when lifting the sheets as the Adders will be more scared than you!
As the temperature rises the reserve comes into its own in terms of Dragonflies. Windmill Farm is an excellent site for many species of Dragonfly (18 species have been recorded). I am leading a Drogonfly walk on Sunday the 28th July at 10am. It is free and as long as it is not raining I guarantee you some fantastic Dragon and Damselflies. 4 Spotted Chasers and Large Red Damselflies are already on the wing at the Farm. This picture (of a 4 Spotted Chaser) was taken on the 10th May.

May is a great month for migrant birds at Windmill Farm and most of our visitors have arrived. There are up to 3 Cuckoos around and good numbers of Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff. There are also a few pairs of Grasshopper Warbler about. A Lesser Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler have also recently been present. Hobby’s hunt over the heath and ponds and there are often visits from Wheatear, Marsh Harrier and Short Eared Owl. The latter two may have moved out by now.

Pictured below are: Sedge Warbler, Whimbrel and Grasshopper Warbler.



In addition to all the above there are many other great animals to be encountered including; toads, frogs, common newts, field voles, common and water shrews, mice, stoats, fox, rabbits, the occassional Roe Deer and lots more. So come on down. See you there! Dougy.