WWA Wildlife Report - October 2001

6 October 2001

Still a very few straggly flowers out, Dame's Violet, Evening Primrose and Buddleia. Autumn Crocus still full out. All of last week plantings surviving and looking good in the rain. The Spindles are magnificent this year - all have gone coral to ruby with masses of bright pink and orange seed capsules. Guelder rose starting to turn claret, also with masses of bright red seeds. Roses are covered with sealing-wax hips. Swans are back for a visit - the pen ('Camilla') now much more laid back and will eat from one's hands. Cygnets now fully grown and starting to turn white

20 October 2001

Great lamentations - our cob swan (Oscar) is in hospital. Came upon him thin, weak, bedraggled and soaked to the skin with his feathers clogged with what the RSPCA said might be cooking oil. He had presumably come back to where he knew he'd be fed, which was duly administered and perked him up quite a bit. He has gone to the expert 'Swan Lady' for treatment and it is hoped he will make a full recovery. However, if he has been in contact with a pollutant, where are the pen (Camilla) and the cygnets as they should have been with him?

27 October 2001

Colour coming in the Dogwood leaves, Spindles still gorgeous. News of the swans: Oscar has been bathed in detergent nightly, still not out of his feathers. Will be a long job. Camilla, we think, also brought in oiled, and though her physical condition was not as bad as poor, starving Oscar, she had done more damage to her skin by trying to get rid of the pollutant. They have been given special pills to rid their system of the oil. Will try to get Ver Valley Society to trace the oil in the river. Almost sure saw female Purple Emperor butterfly. Shot past then remained fluttering round the oak tree behind the blockhouse. First for site if so. Think may have been tempted out of oak tree by lovely day.

Next report (November 2001)