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What a scorcher!

Thursday, April 19th 2018

Heading out of the Field Centre on our way towards the Secret Heath we spotted this stunning Oak Beauty moth in a precarious position on the front veranda.

After repositioning the moth so as to ensure it wasn't going to be trampled on we headed off and busied ourselves with burning brash and grass collected over the last few days during our Secret Heath tidy up. 

The sward height of the grass has been lowered in the hope that it will give the Heather a chance, it's likely that we will find ourselves back on the Secret Heath over the coming months in order to continue keeping the encroaching vegetation at bay.

After finishing up and pouring water on the burn site we started work on replacing the damn below the Bullet Catcher pond inlet pipe, which had been damaged during the wet weather of the past six months. 

On the walk back along Leadmill Beck we happened upon many patches of Wood Anemone and Lesser Celandine, including the one below that somehow managed to survive on the very edge of the beck despite the torrents of water of late.

We've seen countless Queen Bumblebees looking for nest sites today, including the first confirmed sighting of the Tree Bumblebee for this year.

Another common sight has been the Tapered Drone Fly (Ersitalis pertinax), a Batesian mimic of bees and wasps. The males can often be seen in woodland clearings defending small territories, and can be easily tricked into defending them against your finger (which happens to be a great way of catching them).  

All in all, a very productive and hot day; we managed to complete the dam allowing water to flow more freely into the Bullet Catcher pond.


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