The rain may be causing interruption to some of our wildlife surveys. Fortunately, the wildlife is still there. The trail cameras are showing up Roe deer on the actual reserve, which, in recent history, is new. And talking to someone who walks the back footpath to the QE11 playing fields, they have seen a young roe deer there. Incidentally there have been some lovely pyramidal orchids along there. They seem to be expanding to both sides of the footpath. However, bee orchid numbers this year are very limited.

The otters are not bothered by the rain. A visitor from Essex, at the weekend, was very pleased to watch an otter family from the viewpoint down the Haul Road. She said in her email that they have been to “Otter Hides” in Scotland and never seen them.

The constant effort of the bird ringers always finds something interesting. (By the way, their sessions are called CES, which means constant effort.) Their very recent session was even more exciting. I am keeping all fingers crossed that this bird will be back next year, setting up a territory. If you are not sure what the bird is, I have put the answer at the bottom. They also were able to ring a kestrel, amongst many others. If you are interested in the bird ringing reports or any other wildlife survey reports, please let me know.

Also, don’t forget to look at Trevor’s “Finding Out” articles about our various birds on the website. They are all there.

The third Thursday walk is about all creatures, and you don’t have to walk very far to find them. There was a Hummingbird hawk-moth in the Visitor centre garden. And have you seen a Bee Wolf wasp up close? They have wicked eyes. They found one over in the Redlands area. You could easily put it into a horror movie! Something else they saw was a Thistle Tortoise Beetle larva-Cassida ruiginosa. I had to mention it, as it carries droppings and debris around to hide under. Worth a google!

I will be very interested to see how butterflies have done this year. I was quite despondent that I hadn’t seen many peacocks. In the last week, however,  I have started to see them, so some must have overwintered to breed.

As you can tell there is always plenty to see on the reserve. I am always keen to hear about your sightings. Please send them to friends@paxton-pits.org.uk .

Ann Thomas

P.s. Yes it is a young nightingale! Yippee! Photo by Jackie Hill

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