Damselfly sex

The life of an adult azure damselfly (Coenagrion puella) is actually quite short. The latest study suggests that few live little longer than a week but they spend that week having lots of sex.

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Scarlet pimpernel

This is Anagallis arvensis or scarlet pimpernel discovered last week among the grass in the set-aside at the top of Kestrel Field and photographed by Ian Bushell. It is a tiny annual plant more usually found growing in bare ground under arable crops than among the reserve’s lush grasses and, like so many of our wildflowers species, it is now in serious decline due to modern intensive agricultural practices.

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Rabbits

There is a well established rabbit warren in the hedge between Cornfield and Sleepers Field. But, despite their long-term place in our landscapes and myths, rabbits are not British natives; they are an introduced alien species.

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Pieridae

Clive Knight has sent in beautiful photographs of two butterflies: a brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) and a large white (Pieris brassicae). Although both are members of the Pieridae family, they have significantly different life cycles.

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Conversations about haymaking

Email from Countryside Officer Vicky Roscoe (Thu 15/07/2021):
Could you to put the attached notice on Facebook and the website? I don’t have a date as yet from the farmer but he did say it’s likely to be next week or the week after. Judging by the forecast, he could be on site very soon.

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Broad bodied chaser

Have you seen the male broad bodied chasers fighting for territory in spectacular aerial dog fights over the pond? There were at least ten of them yesterday, as well as two females laying their eggs in the pond’s shallow margins. If you’re passing, pause and watch; here is a video to help you with identification.

Header picture: broad bodied chaser (Libellula depressa) © Simon Knight.

Talking to Trees

by David Feather

“I talk to the trees, but they don’t listen to me.” This was part of a lyric to a song some of our older nature reserve walkers will remember. Well, there is a possibility that the lyric writer might have been mistaken.

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A lot of Lepidoptera

from Ian Bushell and Clive Knight

[1] Blood vein moth [2] Meadow brown [3] Ringlet [4] Small heath [5] Painted lady [6] Small skipper.
Header Image: Comma by Ian Bushell

Calling all newt-counters

Last year, Prime Minister Johnson, standing behind a banner that read BUILD BUILD BUILD, condemned all our efforts to protect the biodiversity of the Lambrok corridor as newt-counting. This was just the first move in what is beginning to look like a long-term campaign to benefit developers at the cost of our rapidly deteriorating environment. The latest move, hidden in the shadows of an obscure website, proposes restricting the reach of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

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Picture of the Week

An azure damselfly (Coenagrion puella) on greater bindweed, photographed in the reserve by Ian Bushell, who has a new camera.

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