Nature Club – July 2015

JULY: POND-DIP & BUTTERFLIES

Sesame Street Monster eats butterfly

Eight children today and a special visitor, Minakshi, and a lovely new helper, Charlotte.
The sun was shining and there were hundreds of little brown butterflies flitting around the nettles and grass (Small Skippers).We had fun chasing them with our nets. We also found two large brown ones ( Meadow Brown & Speckled Wood) and a large white one ( called a Large White!)
Then we did a Ducks Picnic. Ducks should not eat too much bread as it is bad for them so we laid out a pondside buffet at Jubilee Pond for them to choose from: grapes, carrot, lettuce, peas, birdseed, a fatball, and some mealworms. The ducks and swans were quite fussy and went for the seedy things and mealworms and not the veggie things!
Then we took our nets and waded into the pond where it is shallow. We found lots of tiny things such as small fish, big fat leeches, mayfly larvae, and a perfect tiny bivalve shell. We saw big Emperor dragonflies swooping about and we saw a mother tufty duck with four tiny ducklings which she was protecting from a gull which was trying to snatch up a duckling for its dinner. Every time the gull swooped down, the ducklings disappeared under the water and in the end the brave mother duck flew up and chased the gull away.
Then we sat down at one of the picnic tables by the Pond and had a mini-picnic and the custard creams disappeared in a flash.
Last of all we spotted some scarey yellow and black striped caterpillars on the ragwort. They will magically turn into something quite different next month. Do you know what?