These few warm days have brought the reserve to life.

Yesterday, while watching a broad bodied chaser (Libellula depressa), set up its territory over the pond, Ian spotted a young grass snake (Natrix natrix), one of last autumn’s hatchlings, not long out of hibernation. It was swimming in the pond’s nursery area, the area of weeds and marginal plants that the Friends have worked so hard this winter to establish and shield from the traffic on the path.

Ian’s photograph of the young grass snake swimming in the nursery area of the pond.

There are tadpoles further upstream, under the Decorated Bridge; perhaps that was where the grass snake was headed, hunting for its dinner.

Ian is our lepidopterist: he always notices and reports the reserve’s butterflies, even when there are grass snakes around. Yesterday’s haul was a meadow brown (Maniola jurtina) and a male common blue (Polyommatus icarus) at the bottom of Sheep Field, a large white (Pieris brassicae) in Sleepers Field and a speckled wood (Pararge aegeria) near the Decorated Bridge.

The reserve is humming with life at the moment; enjoy your walk.

[1] meadow brown [2] common blue [3] large white [4] speckled wood

Header picture: broad bodied chaser from our picture archive.

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