23rd June

Summer is truly upon us now with the summer solstice come and gone and some much more settled and warmer weather. There are plenty of fledgling birds around (which sadly our cats have been enjoying catching) and loads of insects and flowers to look at. The Jericho RED KITE has paired up with another bird - I wonder whether they will breed this summer. It would be great to having breeding Kites on the Meadow, a real testament to the success of the re-introduction programme.

In Burgess Field the first Marbled White butterfly was on the wing about a week ago as well as the first Large Skipper and the usual Small Heath and Common Blues. We should start getting the smaller Skippers, and the Ringlets out soon now.

Not a butterfly but a freshly emerged Cinnebar Moth
Damselflies are now out and about along the Castle Mill Stream with Red-eyed and Blue-tailed to be seen in moderate numbers. There was an Emperor Dragonfly hawking over Burgess Field the other day.

A female Common Blue Damselfly in the Trap Grounds recently
Of course there are also plenty of summer flowers to look at though I'm still trying to get my head around the subtleties of many of the different species.

Grass Vetchling: its leaves look just like blades of grass
I'm still busy mothing away in the garden and at last the warmer weather means that things are starting to pick up a little.

I caught this huge Poplar Hawk Moth the other night - it's about half the size of your hand
So there's plenty out there to look at even if it's very quiet on the bird front.

2nd June

So we're into June now and the summer doldrums though actually it's felt like it for quite some time now as far as the birding has been concerned. The "floods"  are now completely dry and the grass and various Meadow plants  are fast reclaiming the muddy area. Since my last posting there has been some news on the bird front with a male CUCKOO spending a day hanging around Burgess Field recently. I also forgot to report a one-off sighting (or hearing to be more precise) of this species by Mary MacDougall in the Trap Grounds a few weeks ago now. Someone also reported hearing a female bubbling away on one occasion. So it's actually been quite a good spring for Cuckoo's with quite a few passing through.
The rather changeable weather hasn't been doing us any favours as far as summer insects are concerned and in fact it's been ages since I've even got the moth trap out at all. Still I did manage to find the first few summer butterflies in Burgess Field with a Small Heath and a Common Blue both having been seen.
Angled Shades, caught a couple of weeks ago
I found this grass micro moth in Burgess Field: Dichrorampha sequana
At least the flowers are coming out in turn. The Meadow is currently carpeted in a sea of yellow Buttercups - it always looks so pretty when it's like this.

A sea of yellow Buttercups
Large Bitter-cress growing by the side of the canal