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Nature blog - Jenny Bourne

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Drought conditions, marbled white and red kite

Date posted: Wednesday 4th July 2018

Drought conditions, marbled white and red kite

A few days ago a marbled white flew over my plot, by the park wall.. I haven’t seen it back again, but there are plenty of large whites, skippers and meadow browns foraging on the lavenders, scabious, marjoram and flowering plants that are managing to keep going through this prolonged spell of hot, dry weather.

The drought conditions seem to have been going on for weeks and people are talking about 1976, rather anxiously! So far only one of the site pumps has dried up and notices have been put up encouraging plot holders to reduce water usage, to mulch and to target only specific crops that really need a drink. May become a ‘Jean de Florette’ scenario, water supply sabotage and skulduggery breaking out!

How the birds, especially the young fledglings are coping is a concern, particularly the ground feeders as the worms have gone deep underground and the ground is rock hard, apart from the areas being watered. There’s no significant rain forecast in the next few weeks. My pond is presumably a good source of drinking water for birds and insects and as soon as I start pumping at the water pump wasps and bees descend to drink from the splashes.

This red kite circled high overhead last week and today swallows were flying low over the plots as I cycled home after early morning watering.