Wildlife Diary 18/08/17

It was a gloriously sunny start to the day today, as I set out for the morning ranger patrol. At first, our resident Honeybee colony appeared to still be asleep in their hive’s beeswax cells, until five slowly clambered out of the bollard at once and set out their day collecting pollen and nectar. In the middle of my path, a White-lipped snail and a Bloody-nosed Beetle clambered their way through the dew covered grass, in what would appear to be the slowest race to the other side – where a forest of Red Bartsia, Fleabane and Red Clover awaited them.

dsc01332-e1503084463443.jpgSloes, Blackberries, Elderberries and Honeysuckle line the hedgerows at the moment and have all started to ripen. A couple of Great tits chirped happily from the stems, likely making the most of this feast! Beneath the thick Sycamore and Pinecanopy of the Large Copse, I felt the chill of the winds to come later today. Fresh snuffle marks from where a Badger had been rooting around for some food, could be seen amongst the woodchip covered path. As I made my way over to the far side of the park, the meadows were fairly quiet which the exception of five or six fluffy Long-tailed tit chicks testing out their fresh wings, hopping between the branches of Hawthorn.

Peacock butterfly caterpillarsAt the top of Lighthouse field, I wandered into the Dry-stone walling training area to check upon some Peacock Butterfly caterpillars I spotted a few days ago and they were still happily munching away on the Stinging Nettles. This was a nice brief distraction from the looming thought of my intermediate dry-stone walling exam tomorrow.

dsc014451.jpgDown in the gully, the familiar sound of two stones being knocked together, made it apparent a Stonechat was nearby. I made my through the Ragwort, Wild Carrot and Parsnip, to see the now empty Meadow Pipit nest: Which given their size last time, will have happily fledged to go their own ways. A few Common Blue butterflies and a Small Heath could be spotted amongst the abundance of Meadow Brown butterflies. I didn’t see any Adonis Blues, but a few have been seen on the downs this week as their second annual brood start to emerge!

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