Nature Notes 28 July 2020

Observations from staff and members on our Nature Reserves this week.

Nature reserves may look completely wild, but our 19 reserves across Northern Ireland are actually carefully managed by a dedicated team. We protect, restore and create a mix of habitats where wildlife can thrive.

Isle of Muck Nature Reserve

A few shots of the seabirds on and around Isle of Muck on a recent seabird survey counting numbers of Kittiwake chicks. Surprisingly there where also 2 Puffins sitting on the water close to the island, they don't breed there, but have been spotted on the last couple of surveys.  All images taken from a safe distance, using a telephoto lens and cropped ~ Ronald

Guillemot & chick, Isle of Muck July 2020

Guillemot & chick, Isle of Muck July 2020

Guillemot & chick, Isle of Muck July 2020 2
Kittiwakes and chicks, Isle of Muck July 2020

Kittiwakes and chicks, Isle of Muck July 2020

Seabird stack, Isle of Muck July 2020

Seabird stack, Isle of Muck July 2020

Fulmar, Isle of Muck July 2020

Fulmar, Isle of Muck July 2020

Glenarm Nature Reserve

A small number of silver-washed fritillary are now on the wing in the Glenarm reserve.  The common suspects such as ringlet, speckled wood and green-veined white were also present in good number ~ Adrian Kernohan, Ulster Wildlife Member

Note: Access to Glenarm Nature Reserve for members is with prior permission only, contact us on membership@ulsterwildlife.org for more information

 

Silver-washed fritillary

Silver-washed fritillary, WildNet - Don Sutherland (stock image)

Straidkilly Nature Reserve

I observed an adult female Sparrowhawk flying in (maybe with a kill) resulting in begging calls from at least 2 young ~ Ian Enlander, Ulster Wildlife Member

 

Sparrowhawk

Sparrowhawk (stock image)

Umbra Nature Reserve

Conditions were not ideal for Lepidoptera, though there were up to 3 dark green fritillaries, about half a dozen common blues (only 1 female), 15-20 meadow browns, c. 6 ringlets, a small tortoiseshell, 2 green-veined whites, 3 six-spot burnets, a grass rivulet and a yellow shell. I also tried without success with lures for clearwings. We also saw a Cuckoo at a range of probably 50 yards or less, a rather late date (probably a young one).

Marsh Helleborine was reasonably abundant, with 4 separate sub-colonies in the western dune slack; there were a few bushes of Corsican Heath (which seem to have disappeared from the most easterly one where it used to occur.  Pyramidal and Fragrant Orchids were not particularly abundant ~ Ian Rippey, Ulster Wildlife Member

Note: Access to Umbra Nature Reserve for members is with prior permission only, contact us on membership@ulsterwildlife.org for more information

Marsh helleborine

Marsh helleborine (c) R Bradley