Environmental News July 2007
Its very easy to talk about my nature experiences in the last month, but with this very eccentric weather it is difficult to identify what lies ahead. The only redeeming feature is that somehow young birds, animals and insects manage to find a survival strategy. If things improve we may see a clutch of fledgling butterflies emerging.
Foxes are now only occasional visitors to our garden, and as a result this last month we have seen two hedgehogs – the first for many years. One was a large adult whilst the other was about the size of a tennis ball, and had a great struggle with the long grass.
A week of my month was spent in Hungary, chasing butterflies. Why Hungary? You ask. The answer is that the northern part of the country is gently hilly, and as a result has never had the intensive agriculture associated with the great Danube plain. No fertiliser, no insecticides, results in a poorish grassland which is just right for flowers to bloom and insects to flourish. In some places there really were clouds of butterflies and unlike the UK many of the butterflies were small fritilliaries. In this country occasional clouds of butterflies are generally blues, but large numbers of fritilliaries - No. We were obviously taken to the best spots, but even so almost everywhere we went had this abundance of species.
Just before I went, I visited Corfe Hills on a calm sunny evening, to check on the nightjars. By about 9.45PM, there was a strong chorus of 'churr', and also several birds busy insect hunting. Impossible to count numbers, but I would estimate 10-12, and they should still be around until the end of this month
Listed activities include several Butterfly Walks (Christchurch CS 15th, Blandford and Badbury Rings), Birds, Badgers (Kingston Lacy 14th and 24th ) , Bats (Avon Heath, 27th evening) and locally BoP are searching for nightjars on Canford Heath (Tel 261303)
All the available activities are listed in the Dorset Coast and Countryside magazine which can be obtained from the office listed below.
Useful Numbers of organisations running tasks or walks:-
|Dorset Wildlife Trust||01305 264620|
|Dorset Countryside||01305 225037|
|Durlston Country Park||01929 424443|
|Avon Country Park||01425 478470|
|Poole Countryside||01202 261339|
|Moors Valley||01425 470721|
|NT (Studland)||01929 450259|
|Dorset Conservation Volunteers||01202 573213|
Other useful wildlife web sites for wildlife news in this area are:
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