Sunday, 27 July 2014

Buckenham, strumpshaw and water levels

Buckenham continues it's good run of waders, this time with a fine summer plumaged knot, yet another patch year tick.
In the past two weeks Buckenham has given up greenshank, spotted redshank,  knot, black tern and little ringed plover- all great inland species.
I have cut a lot of the docks in front of the hide pool to allow a better view in, just in case anything good does turn up! Unfortunately it appears as though the water n the hide pool will not last much longer than the end of this week unless it rains a lot! The positive news However appears to be that the mill pool is still pretty full so will allow views of waders for the majority of august, extending the wader season a little. Strumpshaw fen water levels are now on the decrease too so there should be plenty of mud to look at from tower hide soon.

On a different note there are 5 swallowtail caterpillars feeding on fennel at strumpshaw near the visitor centre. They are fast becoming the most photographed caterpillars in the world I should think! It is quite odd that they are surviving so well on fennel, but it have little reason to believe that they are from continental origin. My thoughts are that a female swallowtail was nectaring in the garden as they do so frequently and got caught short without a milk parsley plant nearby, I have since been told that the caterpillars seem to survive on a few plants other than milk parsley, however it is the female swallowtails that show a very strong attraction to milk parsley as somewhere to lay their eggs, an evolutionary process which has kept them in the broads!
Here is one on its more traditional Milk Parsley food plant

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