Saturday, 13 June 2015

It's meadow season

It's meadow season, but not for long, as traditionally the grass is cut from mid June when it is its most lush and nutritious.  So get out there, if its not raining, and enjoy them while you can.  As is often stated, 97% have been lost since the war, due to agricultural intensification, so these gems can be few and far between.  But they are worth every ounce of effort to see...

When I visited this small grassland site near Wadswick in Wiltshire, the wind was up so there were no butterflies to speak of, which is a shame.  However the ox-eye daisies, common spotted orchids, quaking grass and occasional pyramidal orchid were wonderful in themselves.

Actually its a bit of a cheat this, as the site is really what's called a permanent pasture, although it is not grazed; it has formed on old ridge and furrow, and is seemingly open common land, but I suspect someone owns it.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Bonus spots...

A few more images from the weekend - hands up who knows what these spp are...?  The second two might be slightly more challenging...

Either way the wings of the dragonflies do look transparent.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

More super Shapwick Heath & humongous Ham Wall

A fantastic weekend for wildlife watching; adders, slow worms and grass snakes, clouds of chaser dragonflies and damselflies, bitterns, hobbies, cuckoos, warblers, meadows rich with orchids and sunshine. Somerset is wonderful at this time of year - diverse, alive and fascinating!


Common blue
Hairy dragonfly

Speckled wood
Southern marsh orchids in a rich meadow

Male swollen-thigh beetles on marsh ragwort
Willow warbler (?)
Marsh harrier
Great crested grebes

Ragged robin

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Shapwick Heath NNR, Somerset

THIS weekend must be one of the peak times of the year in wildlife terms if you are visiting our inland wetlands - the migrants are all here and most are still singing, many of the interesting insects have emerged and the flowering orchids have started flowering.  A great place to experience this is Shapwick Heath NNR in Somerset.  Here's the first of yesterday's piccies - one of a pair of cuckoos:

More to come later - need to get out there...!