Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Bring your own snacks....

Participants in a recent dragonfly workshop at the farm collected lots of dragonfly exuviae from around the ponds and brought them up to the information centre for examination. In case you're not aware, exuviae are the external shells of the aquatic larvae. When they're ready to fly, the larvae climb out of the water, usually up a rush-stem or similar, and slowly emerge as adult dragonflies, leaving these shells behind. The species and even the sex of the dragonfly can be established from studying them. Most of these are Emperors.




This box of exuviae has drawn a few wry comments in the visitors' book, of which my favourite is:

"Great place, don't think much of the crisps tho!"

We've had a few birdy highlights in recent days, including a Wryneck along the access road just 30 yards from the gate - it scraped on to my personal reserve bird-list by kindly perching in the hedge between the track and one of our fields. Nineteen Green Sandpipers feeding together around the edge of the Plantlife pond was a huge surprise. They are regular migrants at this time of year but generally in ones or twos. A flock of this size is very unusual anywhere.



The Black Kite that was hanging around down at The Lizard village made a couple of flyovers and, finally, we had a new species for the farm in the form of two Spotted Redshanks.




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