First off, apologies for the delay in this posting, it would have been sooner but we've spent a couple of weeks without internet after the gales. As it is, June is the beginning of the silly season for birdwatchers with many of the spring migrants now much less visible as the breeding season winds down, and attention starts to wander to other parts of the natural world. The Dyfi ospreys are still to be seen from the reserve however, as the striking photo below can attest, and the oystercatchers nesting on the wall in front of the Domen Las hide have successfully reared two chicks.
Osprey, Pandion haliaetus (Paul Wilson)
Oystercatcher, Haemotopus ostralegus (Keith Roberts)
There can be little doubt that it's reptile and invertebrate season at the minute though. Grass snakes and common lizards are out and about, and our butterfly transects have recorded common blue, brimstone, red admiral, meadow brown, speckled wood, green-veined white and large white among others. Anyone with an interest in getting to grips with butterflies is more than welcome to attend our 'Celebrating Meadows' event on July 8th, where they can learn not just about butterflies but the whole range of plants and invertebrates associated with the grasslands at the reserve. The event is free, with guided walks running at 11am and 2pm, and grass sweeping in the afternoon. Please ring the Visitor Centre (01654 700222) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book. Odonata have also become increasingly visible, particularly large red and common blue damselflies, as well as a scattering of broad-bodied chasers. There'll be plenty of other species out there, time to get looking!
Common blue, Polyommatus icarus (Tom Kistruck)
Broad-bodied chaser, Libeulla depressa (Ryan Astley)
No fungal feature this time, so here's an interesting fern instead. Royal fern is a plant of damper habitats, and a rarity in Ceredigion, so it's nice to see it's splendid fronds along the boardwalk at Covert Coch. The species declined markedly due to collection in the Victorian period, when its fibres were used as a medium for growing orchids, and it also has a curious and poorly understood history in European folklore, where it has been associated with a variety of medicinal, mystical, and occult properties.
Royal fern, Osmunda regalis (Chris Goding)