Just a quick plug for our big event on this coming Wednesday
Treasures of the Thames:
A Victorian Day Out!
Join the Thames Discovery Programme and friends for a day of interactive family fun. Free activities based around the history and archaeology of the River Thames.
Wednesday June 1, 11am– 3pm.
11.30am: Focusing on the history of the local area, River Thames and military history.
2pm: A unique interactive family walk, join your very own Victorian guide and delve into the Victorian life and times.
RSPB Members £2.00, Non-members £3.00 Wildlife Explorer members £1.50, non-members: £3 per sheet. Includes reserve entry price. Booking for walks essential. Please ring 01708 899840
I took this picture last week of a single Field Bindweed flower. It was not till I put it on the pc that I realised that it was covered in tiny furry, velvet Red Spider Mites! they are all feasting on the pollen. It is all about scale!
It is 4.14 in the morning and the third dawn chorus walk has just gone out led by our ever dedicated volunteers. It is still pretty dark but the sky is brightening to the east and the wind is moving the grey clouds along. The Reed Warblers and Skylarks were already in song when I got here about 2.30 and in the last ten minutes Blackbirds, Robins, Wrens and Reed Buntings have all joined in.
I have not been in since Thursday and it would be nice to think that the wonderful rain on Thursday evening and during Friday will have perked things up a little on the reserve. I know that it will not have refilled the scrapes but it was starting to feel like late summer out there and no early spring.
Our Little Ringed Plovers appear to still be around and some ditraction display was seen on Wednesday with the male trying to lure two Magpies away so fingers crossed.
Dave McGough managed some good shots.
There have been lots of good flies buzzing round the reserve at the moment. Many are predatory and are on the look out for another unsuspecting insect or bug to devour. Thankfully only a few have a taste for us humans!
This pretty little thing is Poecilobothrus nobilitatus and like many insects it only has a scientific name. It can be quite easy to see in the cordite woodland, as it waits for prey to pass it by.
This hairy critter is Scathophaga stercoraria but she does have an English name - the Yellow Dung Fly. She (eyes wide apart!) may spend most of her time hanging round cow pats but she is not after the dung but any other insects that come to feed on it as she is a type of Robber Fly and grasps prey with those strong front legs. She will also lay he eggs in the dung and the the cycle continues.
Images by Craig Burnett
By the look of these two plump ladies we shall soon by seeing lots of scurrying tiny lizards sunning itself on the boardwalk! Just need to warm up a bit more to see them at their best! Images by Craig Burnett