September 2019 – Reserve

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4 Oct 2019

Our Reserve Manager, Richard, reflects on September 

As the seasons change we notice the last few summer migrants hanging on with occasional bursts of song from chiffchaff and small collections of swallow. The Wader Scrape continues to draw in autumn birds with growing numbers of gull, lapwing and teal, but dropping numbers of other waders except green sandpiper, which hung on into late September. While water levels are down we hope to carry out essential maintenance on the Scrape next month before they rise.  The work will mainly be to do with encouraging avocet to nest next year.

Wildflowers are now mostly over with just swathes of water mint and the odd small scabious drawing in plenty of late invertebrates including butterflies, hoverflies and bees. Autumn dragonfly and damselflies (odonata) include southern and migrant hawker, common and ruddy darter and the rare willow emerald.

There are plenty of sightings of frogs and toads, small mammals and dragonflies hawking over cut areas of the main wildflower meadow looking for insects. We are in the process of cutting and raking this area, providing some interesting habitat for small predators, and on the rare occasion you can see dragonflies draw in the odd hobby low over the grassland. Longhorns are still in rushy marsh with the sheep now grazing in the adjacent fields. The Herdwick’s have been put behind good fencing on the Crane Meadow, given their ability to explore potential escape routes through the electric fence!