It’s been a while since I’ve visited our local Wildlife Trust reserve, Mere Sands Wood but this morning I managed to dodge the frequent torrential downpours and thunderstorms to see how the rather damp summer has been affecting one of my favourite nature reserves. To say everything is just a ‘little green’ would be to downplay the state of things. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much undergrowth and even the ‘scrapes’ behind the reserves visitors centre were awash with flowers and grasses.
It is good that we are finally getting a bit of sun though as Lancashire is predominantly an arable county and the farmers are now in need of some long spells of hot dry weather to help ripen and then harvest the crops.
With the weather being a bit touch and go most of the wildlife stayed out of the open with just the occasional glimpse of birds as they flew through the trees and the usual gatherings of ducks and waterfowl on the lakes.
There was a fairly major exception though, and I must apologise for the truly terrible photo as I only had the ‘small’ camera with me. In front of one of the hides, less than 150m from the visitors centre could be seen a pair of Willow Warblers dashing around feeding a very hungry chick that looked big enough to eat its surrogate parents whole.
It was in fact one of a pair of juvenile Cuckoo’s that fledged this weekend and was a first sighting for me, hence me sharing the rubishy photo. After not hearing any Cuckoo’s this spring I was thrilled to see one of these increasingly rare summer visitors just a few miles from our house.
I’m going to try and get a better photo this week either before or after work but it’s a little weather dependant and will rely a lot on luck as well as a little bit of skill on my part…