Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Minions at the Fen!

Andy and Niki have helped me to take down the electric fencing on Oily Hall this week. We had fenced the cows out of some areas to allow us to do some weed control of the creeping thistle at Oily. It's a surprisingly big job as there must have been over 1km of wire to reel in on massive spools. As ever the job was made more interesting by the cattle taking a keen interest in what we were doing.

Chock-a-block vehicle after collecting in half of the fencing!

Its disconcerting to see this in your mirrors while driving across a field!
After we'd collected int he last of the electric fencing yesterday, Nikki and I went to improve the visibility of the new bollards at the bottom of Reach Lode Bridge. They have had reflectors stuck to them since they were put in, but we've sprayed them a brighter colour and added some reflective tape. it was only when we stood back and took a picture that we realised how much they look like minions from Despicable Me!

The now highly visible bollards
Minions on the fen!
I've been enjoying having the tenant livestock back out on the wider nature reserve. They all have their own characters that are very different from our Highlands. I have decided that this little chap on Tubney is currently my favourite as he is smaller than all the other calves but is so much more curious and brave!

The brave little blonde calf on Tubney
Tree bees have nested in the roof of the docky hut this summer. Last we while we were enjoying a tea break in the yard, we noticed a larger bee being mobbed by the smaller bees. The large bee crashed to the ground with two smaller ones on top, where I managed to get this picture. Fresh off their bee course, Lesley and Lois have suggested that the larger one is possibly the queen and the two smaller ones are males trying to mate with her.

Tree Bees mobbing a possible queen?

As part of our 50 things challenge some of the rangers are bringing up butterflies! These little Tortoiseshell caterpillars are now twice the size and eating more nettles than I can throw at them! 

Two of my 50 things caterpillars
We had a film crew at the fen yesterday. Ruby's reward for coming in early was to be able to stand next to a Red Epic 3D camera set up, which she informs me is very exciting and expensive!

Ruby in her element!

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