Butterfly & Dragonfly Walk - 16 August 2015
This year’s walk attracted a dozen attendees on a dry day with some sunshine and cloud, a definite improvement on last year’s rather wet event.
A brief talk was given about the life cycles of butterflies and dragonflies and again I showed some examples of dragonfly exuvia (the nymph exoskeletons left behind after emergence as adults). The various species have differing body shapes as nymphs and these can be used for identification purposes. Hawkers have a longer abdomen, darters, skimmers and emeralds have shorter abdomens while chasers have quite squat broad abdomens. Damselfly exuvia are a lot smaller and demoiselles are slightly longer than these.
Wildflower Walk - 21 June 2015
It was a sunny, warm Sunday afternoon when a group of enthusiasts met on the Causeway to embark on the Wild Flower Walk. Before the walk began I gave a brief explanation of the types of plant we could expect to find on neutral grassland. Many plants that grow on unimproved neutral soil may also be found on chalk (calcareous) grassland. Species diversity is inversely proportionate to the fertility/infertility of the soil.
Spring Chorus & Warbler Walk - 10 May 2015
Four of us this year gathered on the causeway for a walk round the lake at half past eight. The weather was dull and a bit chilly but the sun broke through briefly from time to time. Sunny April had brought the leaves, making seeing the birds a bit tricky from time to time. In the end we saw most of the expected birds, hearing rather more than we saw. Surprisingly perhaps, we saw no swallows or martins, unlike last year when they were over the lake in large numbers.
HeronWatch - 12 April 2015
A warm day this year with a light cool breeze. The birds interestingly were pretty inactive with not much coming or going. We suspected quite a lot were sitting on eggs. For the last two years the herons had decided to nest out of sight of the causeway so Anna and I with Carol's help set up telescopes at the binocular resting post along the canal side path. From there some dozen heron and a dozen little egret nests could be seen across the lake. (There were just 4 little egret nests last year).
Wildfowl Walk - 15 Feb 2015
Back to normal this year. Cool damp grey. Water levels where they should be and quite a lot of water birds. The party this year numbered 13. Our tour of the lake took about two and a half hours reflecting the intense interest in the birds and several members being pretty new to birding.
Wildfowl Walk - 11 Jan 2015
For once the weather was kind; clear skies with a temperature of about 8 Centigrade. So other than the sharp cold wind it wasn't as 'bad' as it has been many other years. And so the eight of us set off. As it happened all of us knew our birds and were stalwarts. We saw/heard 44 species including Little Owl, Kingfisher and Smew. (I think the last was the first record at Stocker's for this winter). So quite a good tally. The full list was: