WWA Wildlife Report - July 2001

7 July 2001

Muntjac still using the tangle of rose bushes by the bird hide - if you look carefully there are little creepy trackways into the tangle. Heron on site. Six sites of purple Loosestrife now showing. They are in full flower, with Rosebay Willowherb, Oenothera, Oxeye daisy, so still some colour for next week. Highlight of the week - Marbled White Butterfly, a first for the site.

15 July

Heron on site until late into proceedings when he really could not bear it any longer. Kids came running over shouting 'The ducks are eating frogs!' They were too - not a happy introduction into the wildlife scene for the kids! Doubt if we shall see the Muntjac for a few weeks now, but it will be back.

21 July

Young heron found dead on the site. Hope not 'our' heron but fear it probably is. Site crowded with little birds - Goldfinches, Robins, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits. Butterflies - Whites, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown. Another clump of Purple Loosestrife coming into bloom on the edge of the Mere.

28 July

Insects abounding on site - bees and hoverflies of all sorts; butterflies - Skippers, Holly Blue, Whites, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper; dragons and damsels - one very fragile damselfly, black body with just the very tip of the abdomen a fetching eau-de-nil, a great Brown Aeshna and what looked male an female Beautiful Demoiselle. This last too brief a glimpse to be sure, may have been a Banded, but if a Beautiful would be first for the site. The Brown Aeshna seen to dive down and make a small splash on the water twice - presume hunting aquatic insects.

Flowers out - wild carrot, great Hairy Willowherb, Tansy, Oenathera, Purple Loosestrife.

There was waterfowl bedlam on the Mere on Sunday. It started with all the ducks getting noisy and excited and bathing on masse. This brought Oscar swan who grumpily made a pass at a duck and ducklings who fled away and led him slap bang into a heron. The heron was dancing and shouting with all its shawl and crest feathers puffed out; Oscar blew himself up and back-pedalled, and a draw was declared when the heron stumped off to the Spit and peace returned.

Next report (Aug 2001)