As part of our conservation management to increase the abundance and diversity of wild flowers at The Withey Beds, the family of Dexter cows have returned to graze for another season.
This year the bull is accompanied by two females each with a calf. These small cows feed off the vegetation with little damage to the ground – this grazing reduces nutrients returning to the soil which reduces competition and allows wild flowers to thrive.
This is the traditional way of managing wild flower meadows; such grazing has been part of England’s landscape for centuries.
The cows are expected to be at the site through to the end of September, but they may possibly stay longer depending on the weather, and vegetation growth.
Chill wind. Dry. Sun.
Blackcap x3 singing
Pied Wagtail far pool
Kestrel, male, hunting
2 Small Tortoiseshell
Pond Skaters on new ponds
Rove beetles, 5, on new boardwalk
Song thrush singing
2 Stock dove
1 Whitethroat singing
1 Pond skater
Water has subsided, pools showing more clearly.
Pair Great Spotted woodpeckers chasing and calling
2 Ring necked parakeets overhead
Blackcap singing at far end
1 male Kestrel
2 Carrion crows mobbing a buzzard
Pair Grey wagtails far end
Pair Canada geese
Wolf spiders on boardwalk
2 Blue tit
1 Great Tit singing
1 Red Kite
1 male Mandarin duck overhead
Pair Mistle Thrush
Mallard, two pairs
Great Spotted Woodpecker, male, drumming and calling
Grey Wagtail at far end
Kingfisher, very vocal from the river
New ponds not visible due to flooding.
Two pairs Shoveller feeding in high water next to the Bird hide.
3 Egyptian geese flew over calling loudly.
1 Grey wagtail on path near Big Pond.
1 male Bullfinch calling and on flowering cherry.
3 Kingfishers chasing and calling noisily.
1 fox in field, marking territory in various places.
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker calling and drumming.
3 Redwing in bushes beyond the first bridge.
Breezy, very warm, no water in stream
Mistle thrush with food
Little Egret flew over
2 Speckled Wood
2 Emperor dragonfly
Common Blue damselfly
Snipe fly on gate posts, sit head downwards
Butterflies-Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Small Skipper, Comma, Large White
Cinnabar moth caterpillars on ragwort
2 male Emperor dragonflies chasing