Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.







Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Post breeding movement?



At any other time of year the sight of a black headed gull drifting effortlessly around the margins of Llandegfedd Reservoir would hardly be worth raising your binoculars for, but yesterday evening was different. A single bog standard adult bird in pristine summer plumage that glided in and around Green Pool bay suggests that the westerly post breeding movement of this gull is already underway. I say this, as, to the best of my knowledge the closest colony of breeding black headed gull to the vice county of Monmouthshire is Cotswold Water Park. Not massive distance but far enough to imply the cutting of family ties, at least for this bird has happened.


The mesotrophic grassland (MG5) around the Fishermans car park is fast reaching its peak. Hundreds of spikes of common spotted and southern marsh orchid are juxaposed against a backdrop of seeding yellow rattle, birds foot tefoil and grasses all fringed by hemlock water dropwort. Walking through this habitat I was struck by the invertebrate biomass. At times the vegetation heaved with the movement of late instar grasshoppers like a scene from a Hammer Horror film. Meadow browns are now on the wing as well as large skipper and burnet companion. But none of the azure and common blue damselflies was pale enough to suggest a white legged. A good population of burnet moths were active. Given its still June I am plumping for narrow-bordered five -spot?


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