Sunday 13 November 2011
Tuesday 4 October 2011
Today was misty and eerily quiet. Having decided there was nothing about, I was idly and, it has to be said, carelessly trudging along the edge of our little scrape, which is almost dry, musing that I have seen Pectoral Sandpipers in the most unlikely of places. Not five seconds later, I heard a distinct call - "prrrt". I looked around in search of the culprit and there it was - a Pectoral Sandpiper, not 10 yards away. Three feet from it was another! We all froze. I ever so slowly down sat down. After an age, they decided I wasn't a threat and much to my relief carried on feeding. After admiring them for a few minutes I slowly withdrew back into the mist and left them to it.
The light was hopeless for photography today, so here are a couple of shots I got over the weekend of adders enjoying the warmth of the brief Indian summer. The top one is a youngster, about eight inches long, and below is an adult male.
Saturday 3 September 2011
Wednesday 31 August 2011
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.
Saturday 30 July 2011
After I'd waited for about 15 minutes today, it duly appeared over the northern-most of our two specially-designed dragonfly ponds. It gave great views down to 10 feet as it cruised up and down, doing its best to evade aerial attacks by the Emperors. It failed to land whilst I was there but it was more obliging for Dougy and he got this rather good photo:
Later, he found two or three Migrant Hawkers along the boardwalk:
Thanks to Dougy for those photos. I had to make do with shots of a pair of Common Darters mating in flight, one of the scarce Red-veined Darters (at least two present today) and a female Emperor laying eggs in the pond:
Wednesday 27 July 2011
There have been plenty of entries recently in the visitors' feedback book in the reserve's information centre. On the whole, it seems that we're getting things right and most people comment favourably on such things as the tranquillity, landscape, bird-song, flowers and butterflies. Of course, opinions vary on some things, as the following extracts prove!
"What a shame you do not allow dogs"
"Dog-free - what a joy!"
"No dogs - bliss!"
".....dismayed to see a no dogs sign"
"Some of us think no dogs is bliss"
"Well done on an excellent trail"
"I tried to follow the trail guide....after walking up and down the fields fruitlessly for an hour I came back"
"It was easy to find our way round and it wasn't suitable for dogs"
"....well sign-posted walk around"
"Thank goodness no dogs"
Sunday 17 July 2011
Below is the closely-related Water Scorpion. Both of them have breathing tubes extending from their tails. The front legs are used like a powerful pair of pincers.
Many thanks to David Wheeler for the photos.
Monday 11 July 2011
The group collected all the exuviae they could find and identified 268 Emperors (150 females, 118 males), 45 Common Darters, 14 Four-spotted Chasers (8 females, 6 males), 6 Black-tailed Skimmers (5 females, 1 male) and 14 Emerald Damselflies! Many thanks to Steve Jones for these figures.
The following day Dougy Wright and Steve led a very enjoyable three hour walk, concentrating mostly on wildlife in and around the ponds. Seventeen people attended and despite the lack of sunshine, we did really well - thanks guys. The highlight for me were the Water Stick-insects.
Thanks to Dougy for this species list:
Butterflies: Clouded Yellow, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Large White, Small White, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Grayling, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Holly Blue
Moths: Silver Y, Straw Dot, Pyrausta despicata
Odonata: Emperor, Golden-ringed, Broad-bodied Chaser, Four-spotted Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Common Darter, Common Blue Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Emerald Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, Beautiful Demoiselle
Other Insects: Water Stick-insect, Water Scorpion, Great Green Bush-cricket, Long-winged Conehead, Meadow Grasshopper
Reptiles: Slow Worm, Common Lizard, Adder skin
Amphibians: Common Toad, Common Frog
Mammals: Fox, Common Shrew, Wood-mouse
I forgot to take my camera, but you'll find some quality photos on Steve Rogers' blog:http://www.swopticsphoto.com/2011/07/field-trip-to-windmill-farm-lizard.html
Thursday 23 June 2011
Meet in the car-park, grid ref SW 694 152. To get there follow the A3083 Helston to Lizard road. Three kms after the turn-off to Mullion Cove, look for a sign for "Wild Camping". Turn right here and follow the lane straight on, past the smallholding, and keep going until you arrive in the farmyard. Please drive slowly along the lane.
Sunday 12 June 2011
Male Clouded Buff moth. Most of the recent Cornish records have come from the Lizard peninsula.
Sunday 5 June 2011
Saturday 4 June 2011
Small Grass Emerald, our rarest resident moth. This is a nationally scarce and declining species, with very few recent records outside its strongholds on the Lizard peninsula and the New Forest.
Sunday 29 May 2011
Sunday 22 May 2011
Thursday 19 May 2011
So, no oriole photos, but a few pretty flowers and some happy single-parent families: