WWA Wildlife Report - July 2002

6th July 2002

Camilla now seems to have deserted her addled eggs. The horrible Youths were throwing stones at her and Oscar and seem to have taken an egg as there are only 3 left in the nest. I hope they break it and get covered with vile-smelling egg stuff. Heron plus one occasional on site, both youngsters. Black headed gull back with us. New flowers out; corn Chamomile, corn Marigold. The chicory, Mallow and poppies are at their best now. A few more cornflowers have escaped the slugs and are ready to pop into bloom. The iffy Rowan on Pioneer Woodland new planting is still droopy. It will have to buck it's ideas up or it's out. The grass seed on that patch is sprouting well in the damp conditions.

13th July 2002

Camilla has left her nest. 3 very mucky eggs left in a nest that has turned into a stinky compost heap. Lots of butterflies about -- Red Admiral, copper-coloured one at extreme range, probably a Comma? Whites, Skippers, Speckled Wood. Muntjac about all over site all day. It had been lying up in the Orchard, went into Honey Hayfield and thence into Sanctuary, then back to the Orchard. I think she must have her fawn lying up under the big Lavatera bush there. Purple Loosestrife is gorgeous, with the same great splash of magenta echoed in the Rosebay Willowherb, Mallow and Bloody cranesbill. Butterfly Meadow is in sumptuous full bloom. It has Mallow, Corncockle, Cornflower, Corn Chamomile, Poppy, Vetch, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Corn Marigold, Thistles, Teasel, Knapweed and the remains of Dames Violet and the various Campions. Visitors loud in their praises! Meadow Cranesbill and Chicory also showing drifts of heavenly blue in the Orchard and the rough grass areas -- they both bloom for a good long time. Very large dragonfly at the top end of the Mere, plus a male Banded Demoiselle damselfly near the entrance area bench.

20th July 2002

Oscar and Camilla gone midweek, leaving their 3 sad eggs. Another pair have taken over, with 5 cygnets. They are unringed, so think probably 'Arthur and Guinevere' who tried to disposess Oscar and Camilla last year. On Sunday, there was only one egg left, and the new pair and their babies are in posession. Butterfly Meadow still drawing compliments. Weather allowed later seeding this year, must do this again as there is still a riot of colour when all the rest of the site has nearly all blown now. A family of Goldfinches working the first thistle heads, and the entire site alive with small songbirds.

27th July 2002

Oscar and Camilla gone, and the two new swans with their babies in charge. Butterfly meadow still splendid. Great glee, the barren old apple tree in the orchard has produced one or two apples at last, so maybe we can get it identified now. Must try mulching it with compost again this Winter. Two whopping great dragonflies scrapping for territory at the top end of the Mere; Brown Aeshna and Emperor. Water is very clear and the boreholes are bubbling away still. The donated pear tree in the Orchard seems to have died right back to the new growth, and the Medlar in the Mediaeval Triangle is looking ratty again also. The Crack willows on site and in the surrounding area seem to have been infected by something which causes complete leaf drop. Quite a few butterflies about, only whites near enough for ident.

Next report (August 2002)