Wild @ Rivers - June 2016

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Diary Entry by Charmaine Cooper


Small White

Despite very windy conditions and the cold and rain the Ox-eye Daisies are still flowering in the orchard and meadow. During the respite from the cold rain Peacock Butterflies venture out and are joined by Holly Blues and Small Whites. The air warms and a Red Kite drifts over the orchard and nursery scrub, slowly moving on the warm thermals until it is pursued by Crows and noisily chased away. Once again the weather breaks and rain threatens.


Bumble Bees

After torrential rain and heavy thunderstorms brilliant sunshine begins to warm the orchard encouraging the Chaffinch and Blackbirds to sing cheerfully. In the orchard hedgerow two Robins are busily searching for insects and are successful in finding caterpillars which wriggle in their beaks as they fly off to feed their young hidden deep in the foliage. A large hole in one of the Pear trees has become a home for Bumble Bees and they can be seen busily flying in and around the entrance which is guarded by several Bees to protect the nest from intruders. Amongst the grasses in the orchard Day flying Moths are active. A sudden movement from the Plum tree reveals the Great Spotted Woodpecker seeking shelter in another tree.


Common Broomrape

Another warm day in the orchard and the sun is intense and the orchard full of birdsong. The white branched flower heads of the Cow Parsley gently wave in the soft breeze beneath the fruit trees. Blackbirds call alongside the call of the Chiffchaff. Above the orchard, drifting on the thermals is an unusual visitor, a Red Kite. This large bird with its distinctive forked tail is peacefully drifting until it is spotted by a Crow which immediately pursues it, mobbing the larger bird till it tumbles and drops to a lower height before climbing again further on from the Crow.


Selfheal

In the nursery scrub the Wild Strawberries are now red and ripe for picking and will be relished by birds. The large seed heads of the Goats Beard plant, like giant Dandelion seed heads, are dotted around the scrub. Flowering close to the earth is the tiny yellow Black Medick plant alongside the closely packed purple flower-heads of the Selfheal plant which closely resembles the Bugle. The Blackberry bushes are flowering, their white flowers attracting Butterflies and Bees to pollinate for their autumn fruiting.


Bee Orchid

Black Medick

Goats Beard

Pyramidal Orchid

Ribwort Plantain

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