Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday 25 May 2010 17:20

I completed my 7th visit of the Woods Mill bird survey today and recorded the first Turtle Dove of the year, back in the same place as last year, in a dead tree by the lake. This is probably the scarcest bird we have breeding on the reserve and they seem to arrive at Woods Mill a little later than a lot of other local Turtle Doves. The Reed Warbler has moved out of the scrub into the reedbed, the Reed is much more vigorous this year after being cut and scraped over the winter. I also saw a Brown Trout on the reserve. I saw two deadwood beetles today, albeit very common ones. The atypical click beetle Denticollis linearis and the abundant but stunning Malachite Beetle (photographed). I can't express enough how massively awesome beetles are. For me, getting into a huge group of inverts (4000+ species!) is so exciting. Every time I go out now I see new things and by sticking to a few beetle families that I know I can work with, it's not an impossible task. To put it another way, natural history has only ever been this exciting when I have been abroad or when I was a kid and it was all new! On a less pleasant note, I have pretty much been floored with hayfever today after accidentally putting two binocular eye cups worth of pollen onto my eyes after walking through a field of Meadow Foxtail. I still can't see properly, hope it's better for another early start tomorrow at Butcherlands.

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