A Wet, Windy Week

Firstly, a big thank you to Jeremy for looking after the reserve when I was on leave last week – it’s just typical that the one week you’re off, you get record-breaking rainfall and trees down! Thanks Jeremy, for clearing up after Bertha!

With being off for the week, you really notice the change in the weather. It was still summer when I left, but, my goodness, hasn’t it felt like autumn this week? It’s several degrees colder, there’s been a northerly wind and frequent heavy showers.  If the wind stays like this, we’ll have geese back in a fortnight! But one summer visitor is still here, we are regularly seeing ospreys fishing on the lochs.

Osprey

The adders haven’t been liking the cold much and aren’t all that mobile. They have been basking lots, especially those I suspect are pregnant females. One very warm brown coloured female looks especially rotund, and would have been waddling if she had legs. We’ve been seeing up to ten adders but how many can you spot in this picture? Answer at the end of the blog!

How many adders? How good an adder-spotter would you be?

How many adders? How good an adder-spotter would you be?

Adder basking between showers

Adder basking between showers

I’ve hardly seen any butterflies this week and those I have seen have been blown past at about 40 mph. But there are still a few damselflies around, including this nice male emerald damselfly.

Male emerald damselfly

Male emerald damselfly

The fungi have appreciated the rain, though, and are popping up all over the reserve. Along path edges are often the best places to spot them, as their mycelia (a bit like roots) don’t like the compact soil under paths. So they pop up a fruiting body – a mushroom- to try and get a spore to hop the gap.

chanterelle

Chanterelle

A cep or penny bun

A cep or penny bun

Both these species of mushroom are edible but you really need to make sure you are picking the right thing with fungi. There admittedly aren’t all that many that will kill you outright, but there are quite a few that can do nasty things to your tummy. If you’re interested in fungi, there are still a few places left on our fungi foray (this Sunday, 24th Aug, 10.30-12.30, meet at Burn o Vat, and it’s free).

and finally…there were four adders in the picture. See below!

how many did you spot? There were four in the picture.

how many did you spot? There were four in the picture.

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