Monday, 26 August 2013

Summer of wildlife!

This summer has been, and still is, in full swing at the heath with wildlife and visitors both enjoying the site, and throughout the summer holidays the pool in the main car park has been attractive in this hot weather!

Visitors can enjoy a paddle and an ice cream a seconds walk from their car, or explore the reserve further on its waymarked trails. Many visitors have been attending the free, lottery funded, summer holiday family activity days, tailored to help children and adults alike explore the wildlife and habitats of the reserve in an organised session. These have included:
River dipping: Species found included great diving beetles, caddis fly larvae and crayfish

 Minibeast discovery and woodland discovery:

Despite all these visitors, the site is plenty large enough to accommodate all, and the wildlife has been buzzing, hopping and singing all over the sites variety of habitats. Joint events have also been organised and run at Knettishall with Butterfly Conservation, Suffolk Naturalists, Suffolk Ornithologists Group and Suffolk Bat Group getting involved in surveying days and night walks, along with the reserves fantastic team of volunteers.

Some of the summers more memorable wildlife experiences:
  • The night walk where Suffolk Bat Group and 30 visitors were rewarded with good views of Woodcock, Glow worms and Barbastelle bats!

  • Regular visitor sightings have included Kingfisher, Dipper and Yellow Wagtail on the Little Ouse

  •  Joint taster day: the public joined the experts to survey the reserves wildlife in one day
- Over 20 species of terrestrial invertebrates
- Over 35 bird species seen or heard
- Over 130 species of flowering plants including many Breckland speciality species
- 6 species of damselfly or dragonfly
- 38 aquatic invertebrate species
- Geo Suffolk excavation of periglacial stripes - see photo below showing chalk soils on the left dipping down into the acid soils

  •  Butterfly day with butterfly conservation recorded 20 species of butterfly including white admiral, purple hairstreak and white-letter hairstreak. The conservation charity also confirmed that this year has been a bumper year for white admirals.

A fantastic summer of wildlife that is still on going, so do come and explore it!

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