Friday, 22 June 2012

@WiltsWildlife Invasive Plant Project @TCVTweets

On Tuesday our TCV Trowbridge group worked at removing Himalayan balsam from the river Wylye to the south of Warminster. We were working under the Wiltshire Wildlife Trusts Invasive Plant Project known as 'Source to Sea'.

@_BTO Cuckoo 115597 Update

Unnamed BTO cuckoo '115597' has already motored on down to the south of France. Check it out, he's the most southerly positioned of all the tagged cuckoos.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Sponsor 'my' BTO cuckoo please

Today I've noticed that one of the unnamed, tagged, BTO cuckoos has flown over Morgans Hill reserve twice in the last 30 days. You can follow 115597's progress here. I'll be donating £10 for his upkeep and board. If you would like to donate you can do so here, and if any kind and generous soul has £3000 knocking around that they don't really need, could they name him 'Morgan' for me. Thanks in advance.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust - Morgans Hill Reserve

Common Spotted Orchid
Yesterday I took up a new role as Assistant Reserve Warden at the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust's reserve at Morgans Hill on the Marlborough Downs. Morgans Hill is a superb area of mostly north facing chalk downland. It has a stunning array of orchids, wildflowers and butterflies. Unfortunately I didn't see any butterflies yesterday because the weather wasn't great but I was shown a good number of orchids and wildflowers by Reserve Warden, Tony Coultiss.

We spent several hours walking round the reserve discussing the role and generally observing what was happening on the reserve. I was on the look-out for birds whilst Tony showed me round.

There were a large number of yellowhammers, meadow pipits and skylarks. I saw a couple of ravens flying away from the reserve, a grey partridge in the car-park and best of all I spotted a red kite on the slopes just to the north of the site. Absolutely amazing bird and really pleased because that's the first time I've seen one in my locality.

Fly Orchid

Yellow Rattle

Here you can see some of the plants that we observed. The fly orchid is particularly rare and Tony had never seen any kidney vetch on the site in the previous six years. However, he knew

Kidney Vetch
Horseshoe Vetch
that  it  was  present because of the presence of a particular butterfly that only feeds on kidney vetch.

As things progress and I become more and more involved I will return to this subject in the future. No doubt I will have other observations and photos to share.