An Interesting Day

Monday, May 13th 2019

Cold soon gave way to warmth as Sophie, Gerry, Colin and Elizabeth set off to check more boxes boxes.

Setting off to check owl nest boxes

The first box had two chicks.  They were ringed and then returned to their nest.

Returning chicks to their box

Another box still had eggs, so will have to be revisited.  On the way back to the Field Centre, several small boxes were checked.  Some tiny chicks were in one and eggs in another.  Revisits are already planned.

Next task was to check the ponies on Plover's Pool.  Not a single sign of two Exmoor ponies.  Had they got lost, moved, or just plain disappeared?  Panic!!  Another careful look all the way around and there they were, standing behind Plover's Pool, next to the fence, feeding happily.  Relief!

'Lost Ponies!!'

Talking to some visitors, we realised that there was a great deal of loud buzzing coming from the bees.  They were swarming!  We watched as they eventually settled in a tree along net ride 56.

Swarm of bees

Colonel Alister, one of our bee keepers, came to collect them.  Apparently it was a day for bees to swarm as several hives had done so.  

Getting ready

They were brushed into the skelp and then left for some time as many were reluctant to leave the tree and head for their temporary hive.  By late afternoon they had all followed the queen into the skelp.  We now await the emergence of a new queen, who will leave the hive to go on her mating flight.  Once returned she will settle and begin to lay her own brood.

Bees in their temporary hive

What next was the question we were asking.  The remainder of the day was quiet.  Large Red Damselflies were on the wing but would not settle for a photograph.  Most of the butterflies were also flying quickly.  One settled for a short time, but it is almost hunt the white butterfly!  It was a Green Veined White.

Green Veined White

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