Rain, Rain and Shine

You can tell it’s the school holidays – the weather has been dreadful! It’s rained every day this week but we have still had plenty of hardy souls braving the rain to enjoy the reserve. It’s been well worth it for those who have headed out- there is still plenty to see. There are plenty of wildflowers in bloom, including the dog roses. Pink is the commonest version of these but you also see a white version, which was the Jacobite emblem.

Dog rose

Dog rose

White dog rose

White dog rose

And the starry yellow flowers of St John’s wort are coming out by the sides of the paths.

St. John's wort

St. John’s wort

And the cool, wet mornings have meant that the damselflies have been slow to get going. This has allowed Paul to get some very close-up and intimate shots of them. They really are gorgeous things, just like little flying jewels.

Emerald damselfly

Emerald damselfly

Emerald damselfly

Emerald damselfly

Male common blue damselfly

Male common blue damselfly

Large red damselfly

Large red damselfly

Face on, they can look really bizarre, as does this daddy long-legs. We’re more used to them bumbling gormlessly around our living rooms but, this close, they look strange and alien.

Emerald damselfly

Emerald damselfly face-on

Cranefly (daddy long-legs)

Cranefly (daddy long-legs)

The summer butterflies continue to emerge. There are ringlets everywhere and we’ve been starting to see more ­­of the dark green fritillaries this week. These butterflies have a slightly misleading name – they look orange for the most part. It’s only when you see the underwing you can see how they get their name- it’s definitely greenish, though maybe not as much as the name suggests.

Dark green fritillary

Dark green fritillary

Dark green fritillary

Dark green fritilliary , showing underwing

Dark green fritillary underwing

Dark green fritillary underwing

Our oddly-coloured rabbits are still on the go. There are a couple of these sandy-coloured ones near Old Kinord. It’s a little surprising they’ve not been eaten yet- they are much, much more obvious than the “normal” brown ones.

Pale coloured rabbit

Pale coloured rabbit

We were lucky enough to spot an otter during the weekly bird counts. He was spending most of his time underwater, so you tend just to see the head- or the back as they dive!

Swimming otter

Swimming otter

Diving otter

Diving otter

Out on the loch, the great-crested grebes were looking beautiful. But we’re not sure if they may have at least one baby with them –they one on the left had a suspicious-looking lump on its back. Grebes carry their chicks on their back so that “lump” may actually be a chick’s head -but they were so far away it was impossible to tell.

Great crested grebe

Great crested grebe

The wet days have brought the mushrooms out . We are starting to see these tawny grisettes all over the reserve.

Tawny grisette

Tawny grisette

While out and about, we often get “abused” by wrens. their young families are on the wing now and mum and dad are teaching them to churr in alarm at humans.

Mother wren

Mother wren

We have had the odd sunny period though. In the breeze, the aspen woods the aspen woods rustle and almost sound like rushing water.

Aspen woods

Aspen woods

And the lizards have been taking advantage of this and basking on the dew or rain-wet grass.

Common lizard

Common lizard

But rain has definitely been the story of the week ….every day the vegetation has been soaking. Let’s hope that it dries up a bit next week!

Rain on grass

Rain on grass

Rain on pine needles

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