8.20am. I awoke. A late breakfast for the corncrakes today.
9.30am. I finally get out of the house and head to the reserve/aviaries to feed my wee corncrakes. I inspect two piles of swan feathers, at different locations but within the same territory as one swan family. A swan pair with five cygnets. It worries me. Is one of them moulting, or did a fox get the whole family?
Its a nice morning, so I brought my camera out for the first time in a long while. After feeding, I hung around outside the aviaries, stalking insects.. I think I got some corking photos of the diddy folk. Whilst I’m photographing I can hear the corncrake that we caught last night calling away. The teasels are smothered in aphids. But where are all the ladybirds?
11.15am. I finally head back to base. It takes me a long time though as I keep spotting delights to photograph, poppies, bees, caterpillars, butterflies, and flowers I’m yet to identify. And then, huge colonies of peacock butterfly caterpillars. Tiny diddy ones and big fat ones. They live on nettles, so look out for them. They look like a black mess from a distance, or a shrivelled black flower. But when you get close they are beautiful. They have bold beige feet, spikes down their backs (which don’t scare me), and proper little heads.
12 noon. I finally reach home.
2pm. I make up the large food tubs for the waxmoth caterpillars. Weetabix, oats and honey. Then I move the tubs upstairs to the office along with all the caterpillars, who are all still in their travel boxes. I can transfer them, removing all the sawdust, whilst watching Laura at Wimbledon!
4.20pm. Well done Laura. Chick feeding time next. On leaving the aviaries I came across my favourite swan family. All there, the two adults and five fuzzy grey cygnets. Phew. I photographed mum teaching them how to forage. Cute unlimited!
5.20pm. Then over to the three decoy males to feed them.
I watched a female marsh harrier hunting again. In the field where we released the corncrakes. And then a male, two minutes later.
6pm. Back to base to continue with the waxmoth caterpillar relocations, in front of the Djokovic match.
10.15pm. I leave the house. Corncrake survey time. The weather is calm, pleasant and dry. Three corncrakes heard tonight. One in a totally new area, and the other two have moved slightly. Cheeky crakes.
00.20am. Home to bed.
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