I've been back from my little holiday for a few days and i've found that Cullaloe is positively alive with Dragonflies and Butterflies right now. There's several of (what i think is) the Common Darter dragonfly (now confirmed) about right now, which is shown below.
There's also lots of butterflies on the reserve. In particular Peacock and Small Copper can be seen in relatively large numbers. In addition I had my first sighting of a Painted Lady butterfly today. A first for me on the reserve, and a truly stunning butterfly! (shown below)
With a lot of the meadow that butterflies use having been recently cut down (this is done to allow a proper growth next year) the butterflies are more concentrated in smaller areas, which makes seeing them incredibly easy.
The birds have reduced a lot in numbers recently, with only adult birds seen on the feeders. Gone are the juvenile Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Great Tits and Chaffinches, although the juvenile Great Spotted Woodpeckers are still making an occasional appearance.
There has been an increase in the number of Tufted Ducks seen on the loch over the past week or two. I suspect that now that the breeding season is over with, they're coming back to Cullaloe for autumn and winter. We've had two new species seen on the reserve this past week, and those are the Curlew and the Black-headed Gull. This now takes our total to the 60 mark, since May, which isn't bad going!
In other news related to the reserve, Ross, the convenor for the reserve has had to give up the position due to time constraints. As a result, the position has now been passed onto myself. It seems i am no longer just a regular guy who likes the reserve. I'm actually getting to make an input on the reserve now, which is a really exciting prospect for me. It'll be interesting to see how the reserve works from the other side, to see how things are planned, how changes are made and how the species on the reserve is taken into consideration for these things.
I'm looking forward to taking on this challenge and trying not to step on too many toes! I love the reserve maybe a bit too much and i may end up shouldering my way into everything. I hope not, though!
Ross will still be involved with the reserve when time permits and i hope to see him there when the opportunity presents itself.