6th July

I finally had some time free to go out and tour the Patch today. At the Trap Grounds there was an Emperor Dragonfly and two Four-spotted Chasers on the pond though I couldn't see any Damselflies. The Reed Warblers are still singing away in there periodically - I hope that they're having a good breeding season. The small side pond was nearly dried up though there were several Azure Damselflies busy mating and laying eggs in the water that remained. I was amazed at just how dry it was in the central "meadow" area and it looked like I'd missed a whole lot of flowers which were going over already, having not even come up at my last visit. I must say that all the wild flower planting that has been done there looks really great and I hope that what has been planted goes on to become properly established.

On the Meadow itself the former flood area is looking lush and green now and was covered in birds with loads of Wood Pigeons, Jackdaws and Starling to be seen. The latter look like they've had a good breeding year with plenty of juveniles in amongst them. Talking of which there were a few dozen loafing Black-headed Gulls also on the Meadow with seven or eight juveniles there too.

In Burgess Field the summer butterflies are all out in force now with at least 30 Ringlets seen as well as good numbers of Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites and modest counts of Gatekeepers, Small Skippers and Essex Skippers. Another Emperor Dragonfly has set up territory near the copse and was busy hunting down some of the butterflies. It's all looking incredibly dry there too, rather bleak compared to the lush verdure we've had up until now.

Essex Skipper - taken last year

Finally I must mention my garden mothing which has finally kicked off properly thanks to the warmer weather. I've even managed to catch a couple of Hawkmoths, which aren't at all common in my garden. They're so huge they're always great to see.

Privet Hawkmoth

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