19 Oct 2014


Colin Miles

Sept 16th 2014

September, as we now know, turned out warmer than August and was extremely dry. So as Bruce was interested in what pollinators were still active and on what flowers, our group split up, with one lot going into the Double-Walled Garden and the rest of us around the lakes, to see the effect that the drought was having and to try to spot any early fungi.

Overall there was very little evidence of any fungi – too dry. Indeed, the levels of the lakes had dropped considerably and the one by the Gatehouse was reduced to a few pools here and there. But it did have one big bonus for us, namely that the mud was sufficiently soft and fresh to retain any foot-prints. And what did we find – Otter footprints right near the edge. One day someone will get a photo of an Otter in the Garden, but until then we will have to be content with these. But on the other lake we now have a new resident, a young Heron. We aren’t sure whether it is male or female, so it’s Charlie, or maybe Henry or Henrietta.

In the Double-Walled Garden the Honeybees, Carder and Buff-tail or maybe White-tail Bumblebees were very busy on the many flowers. But as Andrew Martin told is in his talk on Bumblebees, it is impossible to distinguish between Buff and White-tails other than in the Spring when the Queens are around – unless you capture and examine them. The warm weather certainly encourage many other insects, including Hoverflies, Small White, Speckled Wood and Tortoiseshell Butterflies, but the real find was a Small Copper Butterfly on Honeysuckle.

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.