Although the high temperatures are set to continue into next week the mornings are starting to feel fresher and the breeze has an invigorating edge to it. On the reserve we are getting our first peek of autumn. Whilst our trees are bearing fruits and berries, other species are going for broke, capitalising on the fine weather to get one final brood in.
Song bird chicks such as black cap, robin and blackbird can be found low to the ground just now and even though the bird breeding season is technically over there are still lots of young naïve birds around. Pease help our wildlife thrive when visiting and keep dogs at heel or on a lead.
We had a fantastic bat and moth event here on Friday night on a mild, still summers night. Our Soprano pipistrelle have disbanded their maternity roost and now is the time to glut and build up those reserves for mating and later on hibernation. They are incredibly active on the paths feasting on the plentiful insects around right now. Young recently weaned bats stick close to their mothers as they hunt.
To attract our moths we used a combination of pungent smelling “sugar”, a treacly, beery tar that we painted onto the trees, wine ropes – exactly as it sounds and light traps.
Large yellow underwings and dark arches really loved the sugar, whilst species like the large emerald came readily to the light. Live moth trapping is really exciting as you get to experience these amazing creatures in their element, fluttering and active.
The reserve work of the week has been to clear Himalayan balsam by hand pulling from along the Monodavan burn.
Just to leave you with a master of camouflage. Can you spot the spider? This little spider is actually called an invisible spider and its camouflage ability is astonishing. It lives on the lower trunks of trees, in this case birch. The female constructs a web of very fine threads, which lies very close to the trunk surface, practically invisible to the naked eye, and on this web they are approached by males during courtship.