Archive for Jul 11th, 2013


On Golden Pond

It seems an age ago but the picture window at Falcon Cottage was only put in during March. In April we dug the pond in front of it. Almost immediately, the same day it was filled in fact, it was found by Pond Skaters – how does a small insect like that know the pond is there?
At the beginning of July we had our first Dragonfly; a Broad Bodied Chaser. All fresh and new and golden; a beautiful female. She disappeared and was replaced by a male two days later who held territory. Last week he was in company with Black tailed Skimmers and Azure Damselflies all egg laying amid the new water plants and not to be outdone his mate returned and they coupled in the air and she too started to egg lay.
This is just one small pond amid a desert of cereal fields – how do they find such an isolated habitat? How does something as seemingly insignificant and crude as an insect find its habitat? The light reflected from water is polarised maybe the insects can see polarised light from a distance in a different way? I guess we’ll never know for sure … it’s just another of Mother Nature’s wonders.

Falcon Cottage way back in April

Falcon Cottage April

Falcon Cottage in July

Falcon Cottage July

The Picture window and developing pond

Falcon Cottage July 2

The first tenants – Pond Skaters

Pond Skater

The female Broad bodied Chaser – but how did she find the pond?

Broad Bodied Chaser newly emerged

… and the male two days later

Broad Bodied Chaser 2 days later

… and when he found his mate

Broad Bodied Chasers


Well …They’re only Buzzards aren’t they.

I’d like to tell you a story. The story is about a gamekeeper called Colin Burne. Colin is 64 and lives on Winters Park in Penrith Cumbria. I’ve known some good gamekeepers in my time; custodians of the countryside they can be in sympathy with our wildlife. Occasionally they will need to dispatch Crows or the like that interfere with the raising of their pheasants; not a practise with which I sympathise but never the less the copses maintained by landowners for pheasant rearing that would otherwise be cleared for agriculture are good habitat for other wildlife. There are always good sides to situations when you look hard enough. Colin caught a couple of Buzzards in his crow trap and the law says he should have released them but he … I’ll tell you what … a picture paints a thousand words. Take a look at this video released by the RSPB this week.

If the link above doesn’t work in your browser try this:

Colin was given no more than a slap on the wrists and told not to do it again by the court judge.
To me Colin’s actions seem routine; as though he does this almost every day.
Unless we pull together for this country’s wildlife we will lose it. Nature in Britain is in trouble it needs protection by the courts giving heavy jail sentences’ to people that don’t respect it.

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Jul 2013


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