Caught a brief glimpse of 'our' red crested pochard whisking away round the spit. She has 3 little black babies. There are another 4 ducklings in a family, Mallard. Makes me think that we may have missed the Mink, which would be a great pity. Keith Seaman has promised to check our remaining watervole colony on the Ver bank when he comes to take away the traps. The very badly crippled Mallard drake is holed up on Tony Russo's allotment. He is much better, the leg and foot much less swollen; although he is thin compared to the other ducks and still quite gimpy, he has survived. Interesting damselflies have been seen on site over the last week or so -- one large red one, a Banded demoiselle male, and one of the LBJS (little blue jobs!) Sylvia reports seeing the Muntjac outside the main gate one the drive (perhaps we have made the dead hedge too efficient?)
Camilla the swan still sitting. Red crested Pochard about during the week but no sign of babies. One surviving duckling, Moorhens have a baby also. Herons seen fishing several times during the week. Kingfisher seen on Sunday. All manner of moths seen and identified from Charlie and Jenny's trapping session, including one on Charlie's want list. All moths freed Sunday. Bloody Cranesbill is a picture, and Campions, Elder, Dame's Violet, roses all holding blossom well in the cool, damp weather. First of the poppies out.
Kingfisher scooting about. Camilla still sitting folornly on her four eggs which must surely be infertile or addled. Muntjac lying up place found. Frogs about under vegetation. Butterflies: Whites, Torty, Meadow Brown. Flowers lovely. Butterfly Meadow is a mass of colour from this year's seeding; Oxeye daisy, Dame's Violet, Poppies, plus one lonely Cornflower and Corncockle. Newly out on rest of site, Philadelphus and Meadow Cranesbill. Bloody Cranesbill in great tumbling masses still. All green vegetation has shot up in the good growing weather.
Poor Camilla still sitting. She seems more restless now, as though she's getting fed up and thinking of quitting. The one lucky duckling is well grown now, but the other 3 babies are nowhere to be seen. Families of long-legged 'teenage' Coots and Moorhans are galloping about. Skipper butterflies on Butterfly Meadow and Ver Inlet. Corn Marigold and Corn Chamomile just starting to show in bud. Chicory coming out also. Second Rowan on Pioneer Woodland still looking shocked.
Next report (July 2002)