Revel in nature’s lakeside orchestra
You can almost see the site change before your eyes: plants are growing, flowers blooming, insects and other invertebrates flying, migrant bird species have returned for summer and many species are breeding.
One exciting feature is the variety of wading birds on the wetland area of College Lake, where they breed. As with previous years, we have seen lapwing, redshank, oystercatcher and little ringed plover all nest on the islands on the lake’s marsh habitat, and all four species have produced young this year.
Whilst this promises to be a good year for those species, we must remember there is some way to go before the vulnerable chicks are ready to fledge. Keep your fingers crossed!
The site becomes more and more colourful as summer goes on. There is a huge variety of different wild flowers in bloom, including common spotted, pyramidal and bee orchids.
The abundance of flowers is brilliant for invertebrates of all kinds. A particular highlight is a spectacular golden bank of horseshoe vetch, which is attracting a plethora of bees and butterflies, including small blues, common blues and dingy skippers.
Another wonderful aspect of the reserve is the sound of nature. Whether it’s the whooping calls of displaying lapwing, the unmistakable song of a skylark high overhead or the buzzing of a meadow full of bees and grasshoppers, the reserve really comes alive with sound at this time of year.
In celebration of this magnificent, but sometimes overlooked feature of our wildlife, we will be hosting a Noisy Nature event at College Lake o n July 9 in conjunction with the Wildlife Sound Recording Society.
Come and listen to the incredible sounds of nature ‘live’ around the reserve and recordings from across the UK. Visitors can discover how experts from the local branch of the Wildlife Sound Recording Society record the calls of wildlife, what specialist equipment they use, and how they recorded what people hear. If you’ve ever wondered what sound a diving beetle makes, this could be your chance to find out!
Throughout July and August we will be opening late every Wednesday, until 8pm. Take advantage of the chance to enjoy the long, light evenings and see the reserve after hours. It’s a lovely, peaceful time to enjoy College Lake. I especially