We have been busy at Feckenham over the past couple of weeks; well our contractors have!
We now have our rejuvenated dragonfly ponds in front of the Alders hide and the dipping platform. Our contractor came in a couple of weeks ago and has done a great job in deepening and enlarging our existing overgrown ponds. This work was long overdue. They have filled up well and on our Dragonfly/Damselfly walk on Saturday 15th August we were able to see southern hawker, common darter, azure and blue tailed in good numbers. The common darter were laying so hopefully this bodes well for the future. We have a small amount of clearance work to do around the dipping platform but when this is done it will be ready for educational visits to pond dip.
We've also had our two main meadows cut and by the time you read this the hay will be off site. This year's dry weather has helped enormously and made the ground dry enough to get a light weight tractor on site. We have left wide margins and some large flowering patches for late butterflies; there are currently masses of common blue about which will we hope lay on the vetch.
We had two visits from the Roving Volunteers who worked very hard as they always do to cut and rake off the cowslip patch. This will enable better growth next Spring than this year as we were unable to cut last summer. We will be looking for brown hairstreak over the next few weeks to try to establish an 'assembly tree' and also hopefully to see females on the blackthorn.
We found this young toad. Interesting colour, I have never seen one this colour before. If anyone knows about pale coloured toads, I'd be interested to hear your comments.
Anyone wishing to visit the reserve is reminded that there is no parking on Moors Lane. We only have access rights for management. So, please park in the village or contact the Warden Paul Meers on 07899 806425 for special permission to park in the management area. Also, a polite reminder to photographers, please do not put perches in the main pool bank. Access to the pool area is not permitted.
Till the next time!
Paul, Feckenham Wylde Moor