Thanks to Mark and Julie, Neil and Judi for joining us on another fine day! Despite being low on numbers we managed to get a lot done in the Reservoir Basin including relocating brash produced on earlier outings to less visible locations. We also ensured that small blackthorn and bramble suckers encroaching into the basin from the bank below the Allotments were cut off. This was done without intruding into the scrub where small birds might be nesting. One discovery from last year’s nesting birds was a nest built in a dog poo bag that was so round and fluffy it might have been built by long-tailed tits – it was certainly the best tree-hanging poo bag ever!
We also found that the frog activity in the original Water Vole scrape had resulted in a massive mat of frogspawn that had now partially hatched into zillions of little black tadpoles. We set up two Water Vole rafts nearby with some apple on to tempt any voles passing! In addition to frogspawn there the only amphibian activity was a small toad hiding under the brash. A Brimstone and a Peacock butterfly flew past the work party.
Although there were no Tansy Beetles evident at the northern end of the site in the various locations we know they exist, there were two mating pairs and four individuals on the northern mound adjacent to the Pond. This is normally where the first beetles appear, although around a month later than 2017 – the dreadfully cold winter has obviously slowed them down. There was also a patch of frogspawn at the northern end of the Pond.
The next work party is on Thursday May 17th from 6:30 pm when we will be looking after the bee bank in the Cornfield arable at the north of the site. Hopefully it will be drier and the adjacent field finally ploughed, so wellies still advisable.