In between the heavy thundery showers today I was busy taking time looking at our cattle across three of our sites; Southmoor, Hook Heath and Farlington. It was really useful taking the time to have a wander around the reserves, getting a good look at the cows and assessing whether they are doing a good job and eating the correct things. All seemed well apart from a few minor issues.
While I walked amongst the grass in the hayfield I couldn’t help but notice a little orange butterfly; not giving it much attention at first, I just thought it was a skipper, but on closer inspection it was in fact a Small Heath. Although they are now into their second generation this year I just hadn’t noticed them before.
While getting closer to the cows on the main marsh I noticed that they were being followed by 5 Yellow Wagtails, again another sign that autumn is fast approaching and summer species that headed north are now returning back south. Last week in almost the same spot I got great views of a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, merrily feeding around the cattle trough.
It wasn’t all cow lookering today I also had a quick look at the levels in the lake as they had been unusually high recently. All was well though and the levels appeared to be back to normal. While I was there I noticed 27 Grey Plover; many sporting their stunning black and white breeding plumage, probably just arrived from Northern lands. Along with them were numerous Godwits, Redshank and Knot.