23rd June

I can't believe that we've reached the summer solstice already, where has the time gone? It's been great that we've had flood water all the way up until this time but of course with the very dry month that we're having the flood waters are finally on the way out. There are still plenty of birds around though. We've had a party of eight SHELDUCK (adults and juveniles) with us all month so far as well as several OYSTERCATCHERS. The main story though has been the gulls: there have been hundreds of Black-headed Gulls about, including increasing numbers of juveniles, all picking their way over the flood waters and making a constant racket. As the month has progressed we've started to see some large gulls loafing by the floods as well and have even managed our first YELLOW-LEGGED GULL of the summer season. This species traditionally disperses far and wide during the summer and usually starts turning up at Farmoor in June and July so it's been nice that we've had enough water to attract one to the Meadow as well.

One of numerous juvenile Black-headed Gulls

There have been plenty of dragonflies and damselflies about and indeed over in the Trap Grounds Nicola Devine has managed to spot a Red-eyed Damselfly on the pools, a first for this site. They normally hang out along the Castle Mill Stream but they've been seen on the flood waters by Nicola and have obviously now made their way over to the Trap Grounds as well. Let's hope that they manage to start a new colony there. She's also managed to see the first Southern Hawker of the year already.

Southern Hawler courtesy of Nicola Devine
Talking of insects the Marbled Whites and Ringlets should be out in Burgess Field now as they are elsewhere in the county. In the same location Will Langdon has managed to find a nice colony of BEE ORCHIDS and indeed has counted dozens of them, so it's been a good year for them.

Bee Orchid

Club-tailed Dragonfly on Port Meadow

I got forwarded this e-mail message today about a male Club-tailed Dragonfly on Port Meadow. It's good to know that they are being reported more regularly here after the one that made it to the Trap Grounds last year. It may well be worth keeping an eye out along the river for further ones emerging at this time of year.

Dear Stephen  I attach a pic I took this morning I think it's a male clubtail? at port meadow (sp495079) opposite side of river to Thames path near binsey. Lastyr I took part in the clubtail survey at Abingdon but didn't see any. i' m not surveying this year but thought the record may be useful if it is a clubtail. I think it may have just emerged I saw it fly in from the river bank which is flat and sandy there. it settled next to vegetation where I photographed it.sadly a dog came and jumped at me and onto the insect and may have damaged one of its wings.i hope it recovered. yours sincerely Felicity Jenkins