19 Oct 2014

Dry September

Colin Miles

23rd and 30th September. The dry and warm weather continued with the consequence that the lakes got even lower, to the extent that there was no flow of water from the first lake by the Aqualab into the next one. Indeed, the only fresh supply of water for that lake was from the stream near the island.  Concern over the effects of the drought can be seen from the watering of the recently planted Dog Violets in Trawscoed Wood. This is to encourage the Silver-Washed Fritillary Butterfly whose larva depend on this flower.

Despite the lack of rain the grass everywhere has remained green, probably due to the morning dew and there are few places in Wales or the UK where there has been anything remotely resembling the brown, arid of patches of the great drought of 1976. But it has affected the Fungi – they have been very reluctant to put in an appearance anywhere. Even Waun Las Meadow, renown for it’s Waxcaps has been very disappointing. Maybe later on they will put in an appearance.

As can be seen from the photos below, our Heron is still there whilst the number of Moorhens and Mallards are the highest that we have seen – maybe 50 or so of the latter on the 2 lakes. Perhaps we are attracting visitors from other dried-up ponds. The Little Grebes are also doing well. There are about 6 of them, perhaps indicating a pair with 4 now ‘grown up’ chicks. Last year they nested in the middle of the lake, but this year they must chosen somewhere more secluded. What is noticeable is the absence of Coots – there are maybe a couple but we rarely see more than one at a time – why this absence?

As for the Moths, unfortunately there have not been many due to the weather conditions and as we are heading into the winter these photos will probably be the last until next year. But the Moth trapping has been perhaps the biggest success this year and many thanks to Marigold for what she has helped us achieve – and to John and others who have set up the trap.

Many thanks as always to John and Peter for their splendid photos. And if any volunteer or member wants to join us please send an email to Jane Down– you DON’T have to be an expert in anything, just interested. If you click on the Wildlife Walks heading on the left-hand side under News you will see a list of the last 10 Wildlife Survey blogs. If you find an injured bird, hedgehog or other wild animal and want help and advice then phone the Gower Bird hospital. on 01792 371630.