May/June 2010

For me the flower of the month at Kelling was a very understated little plant called Moschatel or Town Hall Clock so called because the flower heads face in all directions. Although not a colourful, striking flower it merits a close look.

First impressions are that many birds have thus far had a good breeding season with some good clutches of chicks fledging successfully. It was particularly pleasing to see a family group of long tailed tits, two adults with 6 youngsters have recently left the nest, and this is a species of bird that was hit badly by the severe weather last winter.

The end of May saw my first bat walk of the year on what was probably the worst day weather wise of the month ,with strong winds and some rain . Still even on this occasion we were able to locate a few pipistrelle bats in sheltered areas. The second bat walk during the half term holiday was a glorious evening with lots of bats,roding woodcock and nightjars bringing the evening to a close.

The roding woodcock caused a lot of interest among younger members of the group as they seem like a combination of frog, bat and nocturnal bird. The bird flew several circuits round us on the walk ,giving its strange call which sounds almost froglike following by a high ‘twisich ‘ sound. At this time the females are for more secretive as they alone undertake incubation of the eggs.

Butterflies are appearing in good numbers and may well have been helped by the proper winter! Holly blues, Orange tips, Peacocks and Speckled woods were very active when the sun was shining.

Finally June is the month when the wildflower meadow really starts to come into its own and is a really good spot to see lots of bees foraging as well as butterflies and dayflying moths such as silver Y'.s