Swans and cygnets gone; think they're doing the University of Life think away from the site now the babies are a bit bigger. Monica mowed a frog dead - lamentations.
Butterflies about in the two-day gap we have had in the pouring wet weather:- Speckled Wood, Peacock and the ubiquitous whites. Brown Aeshna dragonfly zooming down the Mere. Blooms holding well in the overcast and rain to date. 3 apples still on the barren tree, nobody jump up and down or breathe too hard nearby! Young Bank vole, obviously very ill, staggering about on the entrance drive. put it safe in the bank vegetation, will have to take its chances. We are now breeding superbirds -- they have sown a Sunflower which has come up conveniently under the feeding Station.
Kingfisher seen. Brown Aeshna zooming about the Mere. Woodpecker heard but not seen. Speckled Wood, Comma and White butterflies around entrance area. Still a fair amount of blossom on site, but starting to fade in the sweltering heat. The vegetation in general is way over head height now. Extra special sighting - Ellie saw a rodent creeping about in the big willow root by 'Sussi's boardwalk'. She managed to photograph it on her digital camera (she must have moved like lightning.) The result is probably a rat but just possibly a water vole. Brilliant, Ellie!
Ducks departed in a body for no known reason at about 1230, just leaving a couple on the Mere. Not many visitors, so they were probably off to mooch bread at Verulamium. Yellow toadflax out on Mediaeval Triangle steps. Blooms still holding on Butterfly meadow. Goldfinches working the thistle heads on rough grass meadows.
The Crack willows are being steadily encroached by the strange blight. The originally infested willows on the other side of the Ver are just about dead by the look of them. It will remain to be seen if ours succumb. Pair of Jays round the site all daw on and off. Ducks beginning to get their plumage back. Blooms on Butterfly Meadow still just about holding on. Val reports one large and one small Muntjac crossing the main boardwalk in the early morning mist last week.
Next report (September 2002)