Fluttering and buzzing

12 Nov

(Originally published in the Sherston Cliffhanger September 2014)

This spring and summer have proven to be fantastic for our wildlife – warm spring to get everything started and a good summer so far (aside from the thunder and rain late July) so all our plants, bugs, birds and animals are having a great year so far.

This year has been particularly good for butterfly’s. This is one group who, generally speaking, can recover really quickly if the weather’s right and we provide them with the right habitat either at field edges or in our gardens and this is really quite easy to do. A fantastic example of this in on Silver Street in Sherston where Valerian plants have been left to grow and they have attracted a stunning display of butterfly’s.

The Cliff and Grove Wood, among many other places are alive with hover flies, moths, bees and bugs – just spend a few minutes looking around. There are lots of Marbled White butterfly’s around as illustrated. For those who do want to look around there is a Butterfly Walk on the 2nd August at Yatton Down near Castle Coombe kindly hosted by the owner of the site Maurice Avent. It’s an amazing nature reserve Maurice has been managing for some 30 years. Meet there are 11.15 am or call me for details.

The first migratory birds are just about to leave. Aside from the Cuckoo’s (anyone see/heard one for a few years?) which have already gone back to Central Africa, the Swifts are often the first ones to go that actually raise their chicks here, as opposed to the Cuckoo which lay’s it’s egg in someone else’s nest. The swifts are the black birds that shriek around the village in small flocks with swept-back wings and a forked tail. They nest under the eaves of a number of houses around the village and will be soon followed to Africa by the Swallows and House Martins which look broadly similar but have some white on their front.

This time of year can be really quite dangerous for many birds and animals with lots of young ones who don’t really know about many of the dangers such as cats and cars. There was a Buzzard injured near the church in mid July apparently hit by a cars and was subsequently put to sleep due to it’s injuries. You may see young hedgehogs out and about but please don’t touch them unless they are in danger such as on a road. There aren’t many left so every one is important.

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