Wet and Warm

Everything is growing in the warm, wet weather and more of the wild flowers are coming out. One of the prettiest is the fragile rock rose. They’re hard to find on the reserve- they only grow on calcareous soils, but most of our soils are acidic. You only find these lovely plants in places where people have had lime kilns and the soils around them are still less acidic- even though the kilns haven’t been used for a hundred years.

Rock rose

Rock rose

The field pansies are also coming out. You can find these in the field around new and Old Kinord.

Field pansy

Field pansy

And even more young birds are appearing. Down on the heath, the stonechats have fledged a brood of at least four youngsters. They are sitting on top of clumps of heather and gorse bushes “chacking” at one another. Their call sounds like two pebbles being tapped together, hence the name stonechat.

Fledged stonechat

Fledged stonechat

The ospreys must have chicks by now too, and are regularly fishing on the lochs – a nice pike will help feed hungry beaks.

Osprey

Osprey

The butterflies have been very active in the warm weather. They only seem to stop in the cooler mornings- or, if they have better things to do, like this mating pair of green- veined whites.

Mating green viened -white butterflies

Mating green viened -white butterflies

The small pearl- bordered fritillaries have also appeared too…these are the orange butterflies you are likely to see just now.

Small pearl- bordered fritillary feeding on bell heather

Small pearl- bordered fritillary feeding on bell heather

Down on the heath, some of the smaller, less obvious plants are in flower. Here is a mountain everlasting. These small plants look just like tiny dried flowers and stay looking much the same most of the summer as they do dry out.

Mountain everlasting

Mountain everlasting

The spotted flycatchers had four eggs on Monday and these have now hatched- the adults have been in and out with food for the past couple of days.

Spotted flycatcher

Spotted flycatcher

The swallows are still checking out the visitor centre but don’t seem inclined to nest here- they have been sitting on the roof “vit-vit-vit”-ing at one another.

Swallow on Burn o Vat chimney

Swallow on Burn o Vat chimney

So far, there are only still four-spotted chaser down on the bog….but it won’t be long until they are joined by some of the bigger dragonflies. We look forward to seeing these…and will do our best to photograph them…but they are often too fast for us!

One of the first four-spotted chaser dragonflies we've seen this year

Four spotted chaser

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