Conservation Blog

Welcome to the new Creswell Crags wildlife blog. My name is Jim and I am one of two wardens who regularly patrol the site. I am a trained naturalist  and have a background of many years in conservation. I really enjoy working at Creswell Crags because the site is so varied and there is always something different to see.

I hope you will enjoy my blog and perhaps even contribute to it. Each monthly entry I will highlight what has been seen around the site during the last month. I would like this blog to become yours as well with your input and your photos. I would welcome your input (reports of sightings and photos) via email (jim.anderson@creswell-crags.org.uk). Alternatively, please feel free to take details of your sightings to the main Reception desk during open hours, leaving your contact details.

Summer 2014

With spring being early this year, with such a warm winter, the wildlife at the Crag got off to a great start with birds nesting. On a nice sunny day in March, while out on patrol in the gorge, I counted four different species of butterflies: 1 Peacock, 1 Tortoiseshell, 1 Coma, 14 male Brimstone.  


              

Tortoiseshell butterfly Peacock butterfly

The warm weather continued through spring giving us  a great spring with plenty of activity from the wildlife. The tufted ducks started breeding for the first time on the large Crags pond. Life was also starting to happen on the small pond now planted up with many different plants, frogs and Pond skaters where some of the first species noted on this pond.  We surveyed the pond in June for newts and found one male Smooth newt. 

Tufted ducks

Summer saw record numbers of butterflies. In July, I counted into the hundreds of the Ringlet butterfly.  June and July look likely to break the record of 256 hours of sunshine set in 1955. Sunshine hours for the UK are well above average, with 210 hours so far – which is 122% of the average we’d expect for the whole month. This means it is currently ranked as the joint 10th sunniest July in the record, rainfall has been below average for the UK. The highlight of the summer for me was the number of emerging dragonflies and damselflies   all coming to the new micro-pond. , Common darters dragonfly,  both female and male are seen around the site on warm sunny days till the end of September.   Common darter on a stick photo If you see a big yellow to green dragonfly with black stripes it'll be a southern hawker dragonfly - I have spotted plenty in Crags Meadow this summer. 


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