You may remember a little while ago that I introduced you to one of my latest projects, documenting the development of a new nature reserve on the edge of Cambridge. Trumpington Meadows is still unveiling its secrets to me and although I’ve missed a few, Yellow Wagtails nesting on the edge of the reserve for example, I’m determined to capture as much as possible despite spending relatively little time there. It is appropriate therefore, that I share some images from my latest visits.
September’s was quite late in the month as I’d been away in Scotland. I had thought I might find the first few autumn colours emerging, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It still felt like summer despite the cooler start and patches of mist burning off. The first thing that struck me as I walked onto the reserve was how many flowers there were, still clinging on in little pockets of colour. This Field Scabious was one such example still coated in the morning dew.
The pond has some new residents in the form of Mute Swans and the Coots have stayed on too. There were quite a few dragonflies still hanging around as well, making the most of the early morning sunshine. I came across this lovely male Ruddy Darter sunning itself on a burdock leaf near the river.
Looking up from my focus on flowers and insects I saw a species that I hadn’t seen here before; a Cormorant. They tend to be more common on the coast over much of the country but do seem to come inland more around East Anglia, and this one was perched on the very top of a tree overhanging the river.
I was back for my October visit only a couple of weeks later as I didn’t want to miss the autumn colours. Once again though I found myself surprised at the species I was seeing and hearing; Small White butterflies flapping from Knapweed to Scabious, while a Chiffchaff called from the trees nearby. There were a few hints that it was nearing the end of the summer though. The first few leaves were turning and the hedgerows were yielding berries.
I also found a lovely Green Shield Bug on one bunch of blackberries, which I wasn’t expecting!
There were hips on the Dog Rose bushes too, but even they managed the odd flower to make the most of the warm, Indian summer weather.
The meadows have been mown now and the view is rather different, but along the edges and between the recently planted saplings there are still a few flowers to be found.
This pink form of usually white Yarrow was a particularly nice plant.
The warm weather was also encouraging plenty of bees to forage amongst the clovers and I captured this Common Carder on a bramble flower.
Undoubtedly there will be all sorts of new discoveries for me to make at Trumpington Meadows over the winter months. I am already looking forward to my next visit, when I hope the Ivy that I’ve been keeping my eye on will be in flower. In the meantime next week’s post will be a guest piece by a good friend and fellow photographer, Tim Pryor.