Nature Diary for June 2009
The drainage I mentioned in my last report seems to be working well, but the guys doing the work are still waiting to get the go-ahead to continue the ditch further, once the problem of tree roots is sorted. I don't know why the roots seem to be a problem as the trees were there when the original ditch was insitu before being filled in. There are still cricket matches most evenings and weekends.
There is one problem that needs looking into, we must try and get something done about getting the "No Cycling" sign and the "Keep Clear for Emergency Use Only" sign re-painted at the entrance to the car park in Charborough Road before an accident happens. It's not the young kiddies on bikes that are the problem, but adults and teenagers that come flying through the park and people have to jump out of the way. There is an accident waiting to happen, they think cycling is allowed in the park but it's not. Also, cars are parking on the "Keep Clear" sign, if there was a fire in the park, which we have had in the past, or an ambulance was needed, there would be a problem, the signs have faded and need brightening up with a fresh coat of paint or what ever it is they use.
On the environment side e.g. Nature Diary, 23rd May the recreation ground and my garden was visited by many painted lady butterflies. There probably wasn't a garden in Dorset that wasn't visited by these beautiful insects on their migration from North Africa. They continued flying through the recreation ground for at least five days.
29th May I observed my first Green Hairsreak butterfly of the year on Dunyeats Hill along with Four-Spotted and Broad-Bodied chaser Dragonflies plus a Hairy Dragonfly. This dragonfly is locally common and one of the hardest to photograph, the Large Red and Common Blue damselfly were active, also plenty of Green Tiger beetles to be seen. The wood ants (Formica rufa) were very busy adding fragments of tree litter and pine needles to their already huge nest and the rare slave maker ant (Formica sanguinea) was also very active.
1st June - I put out the moth trap and listed are the moths that were taken: - 1 Green Silver Lines, 3 Light Emerald, 7 Heart and Dart, 2 Pale Tussock, 1 Peppered, 11 Triple Lines, 1 Brimstone, 1 Orange Footman, 1 Shuttle Shaped Dart, 1 Scalloped Hook Tip and 1 Grey Pine Carpet, plus 2 Orange ladybirds. A record of the above moths was sent to the Dorset Moth Group (all the moths were released).
3rd June - on Dunyeats Hill doing a Reptile survey with the HCT (the Herpetological Conservation Trust) produced 1 adult Smooth snake and 1 Juvenile, also 1 Juvenile female Slowworm, plus there were many Common lizard seen. While we were surveying we accidentally flushed a nightjar from her nest so we quickly moved away from the area hoping we hadn't caused her too much stress and that she would return quickly.
I will keep you up to date on any new and interesting sightings.
Keith Clements - Parks, Nature Reserves & Heathland