Monday, 27 September 2010

Work at Langdon Reserve - September

A couple of work parties at the end of August and beginning of September:  in August we cleared lots of scrub to clear a path towards the railway line so that a tree survey could be undertaken.  We spent the morning clearing bramble and blackthorn and small trees and reached a boundary fence much closer to the reserve than we anticipated, which meant that the trees overhanging the railway line were the responsibility of the railway company and not the council/wildlife trust.

The following day Joel and I took a walk round the reserve visiting the site of the work and of some of the things we had discovered.

Unidentified fungus

Unidentified skull

Unidentified skull
Just some of the area we cleared in a morning!

[Polygonia c-album]

Green-Veined White
[Pieris napi]

Views from Langdon Reserve

Views from Langdon Reserve

The following week in our work party we started to lay a hedge alongside the lake. We did this by thinning out the trees, and selecting the straightest trunk from one or two trees either side of the designated fence line. We then trimmed off all the excess branches and used an axe to cut away one side of the trunk to allow it to be bent over without snapping. This allows it to be part of the hedgerow and carry on growing and keep the fenceline alive.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Creatures in the house and garden

Just a few of the creatures that have appeared in our house and garden over the summer that I've been able to get close enough to to photograph.

Yellow Shell
[Camptogramma bilineata]
Spider's web

possibly Copper Underwing
[Amphipyra pyramidea]

Silver Y
[Autografa gamma]

Silver Y
[Autografa gamma]

Friday, 24 September 2010

Revisiting La Brenne & Le Veudre July 2010

At the end of July we took the eurotunnel and drove down to La Brenne, in the Indre-et-Loire area of France. It was to be a re-visit to the place of my conservation trip last October and a first visit for Joel. Our accommodation in the village of Rosnay was equisite and I would recommend to anyone. Tres chic et rustique!

Our accommodation was situated opposite the church and there were barn swallows [Hirundo rustica] nesting everywhere and darting about. Also noticed a few bats at dusk flying around the courtyard, but as I don’t yet have a bat detector I don’t know what they were.

Over the course of the next few days we visited a variety of places; Le Blizon, Chérine, La Maison de la Nature, Maison du Parc, Bellebouche, Le Blanc and Mézières-en-Brenne. We saw a huge variety of wildlife during our 4 days in La Brenne:

• Eurasian Jay [Garrulus glandarius]

• Grey Heron [Ardea cinerea]

• Common Buzzard [Buteo buteo]

• Rat [Ratus ratus]

• Mute Swan [Cygnus olor] & 4 cygnets

• Carrion Crow [Corvus corone]

• Comma [Polygonia c-album]

• House Sparrow [Passer domesticus]

• Northern Lapwing [Vanellus vanellus]

• Great Cormorant [Phalacrocorax carbo] [drying it’s wings and 5 fishing]

• Castle Egret [Bubulcus ibis]

• Mallard [Anas platyrhynchos]

• Great Crested Grebe [Podiceps cristatus]

• Eurasian Coot [Fulica atra]

• Juvenile Great Crested Grebe [Podiceps cristatus]
• Purple Heron [Ardea purpurea]

• Little Grebe [Tachybaptus ruficollis]

• Red Admiral [Vanessa atalanta]

• Common Chaffinch [Fringilla coelebs]

• Scarce Swallowtail [Iphiclides podalirius]

• Small White [Pieris rapae]

• Black-veined White [Aporia crataegi]

• Green Frog [Rana clamatins]

• A variety of unidentified lizards

• Blue-tailed Damselfly [Ischnura elegans]

• Gatekeeper [Pyronia tithonus]

• Brimstone [Gonepteryx rhamni]

• White Admiral [Limenitus camilla]

• Common Swallowtail [Papilio machaon]

We then travelled a couple of hours east to Joel’s family’s lake near le Veudre in the Allier region. We spent the next 5 days relaxing, Joel fishing and me scurrying about trying to find nature in every nook and cranny. I was surprised by how much I found. It was a butterfly and dragonfly haven. I also saw a red underwing moth on my last day which was amazing. It was resting on the side of the lodge and I was intrigued by it because it was so large. Then, disturbed by me and my camera, it took off to reveal the red underwing. It was beautiful.

• Black-tailed skimmer [Orthetrum cencellatum]

• Barn Swallow [Hirundo rustica]

• Green frog [Rana clamatins]

• Northern Lapwing [Vanellus vanellus]

• Common Swallowtail [Papilio machaon]

• Common Buzzard [Buteo buteo]

• Common Blue [Polyommatus icarus]

• Brimstone [Gonepteryx rhamni]

• Grey Heron [Ardea cinerea]

• Common Pond Skater [Gerris lacustris]

• Blue-tailed Damselfly [Ischnura elegans]

• European Goldfinch [Carduelis carduelis]

• Meadow Brown [Maniola jurtina]

Map Butterfly [Araschnia levana]
• White Admiral [Limenitis camilla]

• Gatekeeper [Pyronia tithonus]

• Ringlet [Aphantopus hyperantus]

• Small White [Pieris rapae]

• Slow Worm [Anguis fragilis]

• White-tailed bumblebee [Bombus lucorum]

• Common Coenagrion [Coenagrion puella]

• Red Admiral [Vanessa atalanta]

• White Stork [Ciconia ciconia]

• Red Squirrel [Sciurus vulgaris]

• Red Underwing [Catocala nupta]

• Kingfisher [Alcedo atthis]

• Magpie [Pica pica]

• Tawny Owl [Strix aluco] [heard]

• Barn Owl [Tyto alba] [heard]

• Lizard [unidentified]

• Bat [unidentified]

• Map Butterfly [Araschnia levana]

You can view all my pictures at: