I have mentioned the problems I have been having with the North Marsh cattle trough a few times recently, but these were nothing to what greeted me today. The standpipe was just gushing water everywhere and the whole of the valve system was broken away and lying in the field! A real challenge and not what I had planned to be doing at all, I decided to sort it without the fuss of turning off the water as I did not have time to go all the way out of the reserve to do so. I did get it fixed but got soaked to the skin in the process. I will turn off the water and do a proper job tomorrow when I have more time.
My main job was to start topping the Hayfield and I did get about three hours done. In the process I saw a clouded yellow, several yellow wagtail and the wryneck, which unfortunately I flushed from the side of the ditch as I mowed round the edge of the field, a good tractor “tick” though.
What with one thing and another I did not get any pictures today, so I will share a few from the last few days instead. On Friday I had a day off and visited Old Winchester Hill, a very fine chalk grassland with lots of butterflies, as well as lots of rather worn chalkhill blue there were also several silver-spotted skipper.
I was also pleased to see another chalk grassland species, a grasshopper this time, stripe-winged grasshopper.
I then had a rather hopper weekend, on Sunday I headed out into the New Forest and saw bog bush cricket and two more species of grasshoppers, the very dark woodland grasshopper.
And lastly the magnificent and these days rare, large marsh grasshopper.