September 2019

We now have a flock of 50-60 sheep grazing the meadow for the next few weeks. They are very friendly and will do a good job for us, removing much of the grass and reducing the nutrient content of the field to encourage other flower species to grow.

Our monthly workday saw a fantastic turnout of 18 volunteers, mainly clearing the Spout, boardwalk and outflow vegetation. There were quite a lot of birds around, including a mixed flock of approximately 30 swallows and house martins fuelling up for their migration back to Africa.

August 2019

The beginning of the month saw a once in a decade occurrence – a mass influx of the migrant Painted Lady butterflies were widely seen swarming on buddleia bushes (they seemed to favour the white ones) and flowering plants throughout the month. A few turned up at Moorend Spout, but they had better fare in local gardens.

Paul sent his butterfly records for 21st August, which were very impressive: Gatekeeper 6, Red Admiral 2, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Peacock 4, Small Skipper 3, Comma 2, Painted Lady 1, Meadow Brown 1 and numerous of the Large and Small Whites and the Banded Demosiselles. House Martins 8.

We have masses of late flowering plants on the reserve – Hogweed (Heracleuem spondylium), Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium) the larger white one and the pretty pink and white Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis ). Weeds they may be, but they do help to support huge numbers of different pollinators. Others doing the same job include -Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and Common Comfrey (Symphytum officinale). The latter was particularly attractive to the Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum)


July 2019

Another fine day for our work morning with 11 volunteers turning up to help with the urgent job of cutting back the boardwalk vegetation. Viv gets the waders on and clears the carr outflow. New volunteer Sarah gets a lesson in scything from Peter and gets the hang of it very quickly. They start on the difficult job of clearing the nettles and cleavers from the area to the left of the boardwalk where we used to have Marsh Woundwort growing – now sadly seems to be lost. A start is made to cut the seed heads off the Docks in the meadow before they spread any further (they are useless for animal feed and even the sheep will not touch them) but it is a long, hot job - and Paul records the butterflies - lots of Meadow Browns, Large and Small Skipper, Comma, Ringlet, Red Admiral, Large and Small Whites, and one Marbled White.

The last record of the day is from Mike who spots a different species of Dragonfly resting on the boardwalk. Again, positive identification is always difficult, but it is probably the male Black-Tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellata) This dragonfly is found at any open water with bare patches along the shore where the patrolling males frequently rest in the sun. Females are less bold and not encountered as regularly. It favours lakes, slow rivers and ponds, flying swift and low over the water, catching prey as it goes. The main flight period is June and July.


June 2019

We have had a most unusual month of June - it went from summer to winter and back to summer again! The butterflies and dragonflies are picking up in number now, but will have undoubtedly been affected by the weather early in the month.

We had a very successful Open Day at the start of the month with lovely weather. We combined a work morning with the event and had a number of people visiting who had never been to the site before.

May 2019

The 1st Nailsea Scouts joined us on our May work morning, to take part in tree planting and wild turnip removal. They planted around ten trees to the east of the carr as well as removing a significant amount of the wild turnip from the embankment. At this time of year, the wild turnip is clearly visible with its yellow flowers, looking very similar to oilseed rape.


February 2019

The Annual Report for 2018 is available here (pdf file).

There was a few inches of snow on our February work morning, and as a result, we observed otter tracks leaving one of the rivers and walking across the site. This is promising as it means there was an otter using the field in the 12 hours before our work morning.



Peter took his drone out in the snow and produced the following pictures and videos from the site:

NEWT Snowy Work Morning

NEWT Snowy Panorama

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