Revel in na­ture’s lake­side or­ches­tra

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - WILD LIFE -

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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

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