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August 2012

posted 5 Sept 2012, 02:04 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 5 Sept 2012, 02:14 ]

Did you know that there was a bumblebee called a gypsy cuckoo bumblebee (Bombus bohemicus) and if you are lucky you might be able to see one on Pipe Green? We are very fortunate that Bob Russon managed to photograph one (see photo on right) and have it positively identified by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Cuckoo bumblebees are so called as the adult female will lay her eggs in the nest of other bumblebee species. Once hatched, the worker bumblebees will raise the cuckoo bumblebee young, without realising that they are a different species. This is the first time that this species has been recorded on the Green, so thanks to Bob for his efforts.

Gypsy Cuckoo Bumblebee
Image  courtesy of Bob Russon, Lichfield & District Local RSPB Group

With the warmer weather in August, the dragonflies have been more active and visible. Again thanks to Bob Russon for taking this stunning photograph of what is thought to be a migrant hawker dragonfly. The migrant hawker is often seen in late summer to autumn and even into November. It is common in the south of England but is increasing its range northwards.

Another dragonfly that you might see is the common southern hawker. This is one of the more common dragonflies in the UK and also one of the most inquisitive. So if a dragonfly flies right up to you, then it is likely to be a southern hawker! 

Migrant Hawker Dragonfly
Image  courtesy of Bob Russon, Lichfield & District Local RSPB Group

The cattle are also doing well at the moment and enjoying a drink and paddle in the stream. There is still quite a lot of grazing for them, so they should be on the Green until October.

The summer warblers have finished breeding and have now left. The buzzards are a common site at moment, with at least three or four circling overhead at one time. A peregrine falcon joined them for a short while the other day, so keep your eyes open for this magnificent bird. I understand that the peregrines nest at Rugeley power station, so there maybe a good chance of spotting one overhead, whilst walking on the Green.

Two work parties have been scheduled for the 9th and 16th September (9.00 - 11.00) to try and clear some of the watercress from the stream. This year the watercress is growing in profusion and so it may take a bit of effort to remove it. Any volunteer's welcome. Just bring along a rake/three pronged hoe and a pair of wellies!

Cows drinking from Leomansley brook