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Surprise Finds

Friday, July 10th 2020

Whilst carrying out some of the routine Friday jobs, a couple of surprises were discovered. Firstly, checking the Hebridean Sheep took a little longer than anticipated as they had escaped from the wetland via a gate that had been left open and had wandered into the wildflower hay meadow!

They seemed to know that they were in the wrong place and hurried back in their small flock towards Plover's Pool. A polite reminder to all visitors to leave any gates as you find them to prevent this from happening again! The meadow is looking stunning although the heat wave earlier this year has limited the growth compared to previous years. As can be seen in the photograph, the Yellow Rattle has gone to seed. These flowers are pollinated by large bees (especially bumblebees) and are followed by large, inflated seed pods. When these ripen and dry, the seed inside rattles around; in former times, farmers used this sound as their cue to cut the hay. There might not be enough growth this year for hay making at Foxglove but it is lovely to walk through this colurful habitat. As well as many butterflies and bees, a Hare, a Buzzard and a Lapwing have all been observed here this week.

The orchids in the Field Centre garden are still providing a 'wow factor' for visitors.

A second surprise was finding an Orchid growing out of the boardwalk close to the lake hide!

The reserve is at its best at this time of year and is well worth a visit if you haven't been for a while.

The Scrapes are full of dragonflies and damselflies and a Kingfisher has been seen on several occasions flitting over the cascading pools.


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