5 May 2001
Coots still have their 3 chicks, the other family seem to have gone. The 2 new swans are now fixtures. They are only young, and not in full breeding livery, but have been mating tho' no attempt at a nest, so nothing will come of it this year. They are unringed, but not the aggressive pair who last visited us. Jays still around Alban Way side. Nest has appeared in wicker nestbox put up for the purpose in the shed. Red campions now coming out. All the flowers from last week still looking good. Nupher lutea waterlily showing long folded leaves already.
12 May 2001
Adult swans still there. Bog coot chicks (3) now well grown and very cheeky. Mere coot chick surviving and 5 new moorhen chicks near boreholes. All the red campion is out in a great splash of magenta. Orchard now produced great clumps of ochre lesser celandine - result of our seed sowing last year. Things planted on the bare bit where the Elders fell over are now coming up. Speckled Wood, peacock, Whites, Orange Tips and one tiny (Holly?) blue butterflies seen. Nest in wicker nestbox in shed probably Great Tit.
19 May 2001
First damselflies out, small black body with single sky blue stripe around tail end of abdomen.
26 May 2001
The two young unringed swans ('Arthur & Guinevere') who had made the Mere their own were driven off by the original resident ('Oscar') and his new mate ('Camilla') who have taken over with their seven 2-week old cygnets. Now have info on 'Oscar' and his dead mate 'Olive''s ring numbers. As we thought, Olive was rather elderly over 20 years old, Oscar younger. Also on the Mere was a strange all brown & fawn duck - think female Pochard but Oscar kept her on the move, flying round the site, it was difficult to be sure. The butterfly meadow is a mass of magenta and white with Oxeye daisy, Red Campion, Dame's Violet, White Campion, and Cow Parsley. The yellow waterlily, Nuphar lutea, is showing leaves on top of the water and nothing has nibbled it yet, hooray! Perhaps we can get some more?
Next report (June 2001)