A picture of two Black Tailed Skimmers taken close to the large pond on the lower field in July 2015 by Beryl. If you really want to know what they are doing read on.
Female Black Tails are often caught by a male in this way and are fastened together for up to 15 minutes. The male extracts all the existing sperm (if any) deposited by other males from the female before implanting his own. The female will then go on to deposit her eggs in the pond.
A lot of dragonflys around at the moment attracted by the new pond. Broad Bodied Chasers and Emperor Dragonflys in evidence
On Saturday 7th March we saw frogspawn in the new pond on the lower field - one patch. The following day another patch appeared. They are located quite close to the path leading to the bee hives. Frogs have been seen mating in other ponds on the site so, hopefully, it will be a good year for them and they will eat lots of slugs!
Another sign of Spring spotted are celandines flowering - bright yellow star-like. I always think of them as the first flowers of Spring - although we have had primroses flowering since December! The celandines are beneath the willow tree next to the newly cleared areas on the lower field.
Yesterday I saw a grass-snake on the edge of the meadow near the long grass by the wild pear tree in the far left hand corner. It was basking in the sun - which came out all too briefly. Unfortunately I did not have a camera with me. The following website has a good photo of one and some interesting facts and advice about wildlife in gardens - www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk
In 2007 the grass-snake was included in the updated UK Biodiversity Action Plan as a species in need of conservation and greater protection.
Has anyone else spotted one? We have had out allotment for over 20 years and this is the first one I've seen.
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