Saturday, July 12th, 2014 | Author:

The site has just about recovered from the deluge.

Here are a couple of close encounters during recent site clearance activity:


the larva of a cinnabar moth feeding on ragwort





butterfly ringlet

        ringlet butterfly during a brief rest in flight





butterfly skipper     a skipper basking in the sun







And this was all under water a few months ago!

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Friday, February 28th, 2014 | Author:

a valiant attempt to divert the river !

Ver blockage 2014













which is now running into the drainage channel and flowing backwards to the site

Ver divert 2014

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 | Author:

7th February, the Ver overflows …


wwa tidal path 2014 and a previously waterlogged path disappears

wwa mallard highground mallard head for the high ground

and on the 9th Feb the water level rises to an unprecedented level ….

wwa hightide 2014










when will it end?!


Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 | Author:

This female ‘leaflitter crab spider’ – Ozyptila praticola – was found at the reserve yesterday on an ivy-covered tree trunk beside the bog.  These spiders are very well camouflaged amongst earth or on tree bark and they move very slowly, playing a sit-and-wait game to capture their prey rather than making a web or actively hunting.  They will also rely on their camouflage or play dead (thanatosis) rather than run away if disturbed.  Ozyptila praticola are fairly common in southern England.


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Sunday, November 10th, 2013 | Author:

Plenty of insects enjoying the sunshine at the reserve this afternoon, including a few Marmalade hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus) and this lovely Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

Red Admiral


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Saturday, November 02nd, 2013 | Author:

The sunshine today was enough to tempt out plenty of wolf spiders plus
this smart young Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Pisaura mirabilis from the reserve

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Sunday, August 18th, 2013 | Author:

Bullhead fish

At the summer event back in June, the pond dipping was great fun as always. My favourite find was this bullhead lurking in the mud. It’s perhaps 7cm long and quite chunky with a great big head, hence the name bullhead, and the alternative name miller’s thumb.

They tend to live at the bottom of fast flowing stony rivers, feeding on invertebrates at dusk. They are very well camouflaged – unless you stick them in a white tray of course.

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Friday, August 16th, 2013 | Author:

A kindly male kingfisher was in the mood for posing and I got possibly the best shots I ever have done. He spent a while over the pool in the middle of the site but then moved to the river at the back where he fished for a while and I got these pictures.

Interestingly he caught a fish then somehow attached it to the branch he was perching on. Perhaps it was tucked in a crook or impaled on a twig, and I really can’t be sure whether he meant it or not. He left it there.

The pictures have come out with a slightly other-worldly almost flash-lit look to them as he was perched in a shaft of sunlight above the shady river. Also I messed up a bit with the camera and had to rescue it in post-production, which contributes to the look in a funny sort of way!

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Saturday, June 01st, 2013 | Author:

First sight of the moorhen and a single chick.

With a bit of luck the offspring will stay hidden in the reed and evade the attention of predators!

Sunday, May 12th, 2013 | Author:

Our site updates have been notable by their absence so far this year, but here’s a reminder of the view over the mere.

This photo taken in April, (and really is only a ten minute walk from the city centre!) ……..















and a colourful creature that only the most tolerant gardener would like to see …..










… a vine weevil on the stalk of our spring flowering fritillary…






















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