Harry's Hog Blog - Out of hibernation...

Grey heron and great white egret. By Harry Hog

Our intrepid promoter Harry Hog is now officially out and about visiting Wildlife Trust nature reserves in our three counties. Read the first of his ‘Hog Blog’s about how our local wildlife is doing out there on the ground, or in the air!

Harry Hog is now officially out and about visiting Wildlife Trust nature reserves in our three counties. A hedgehog finally emerging from an extended hibernation if you like!

In the most difficult of times, when so much of our normal life has been disrupted, one thing is certain, that wildlife and our natural world carries on. Many more people have embraced the wonders of nature especially during lockdown. It’s given us all time to take stock and to look around in our gardens and on our local patch at the beautiful sights we are fortunate enough to see on our own doorsteps.

Our Wildlife Trusts provide the local link to amazing conservation efforts near to where you live and we encourage you to get out there and enjoy the fantastic wild habitats that we protect and manage, the value of which has never been so important to society.

Hedgehog being held

Harry Hog

Early August and it’s been truly hotting up! Our native wildlife finds it extremely hard in the soaring Saharan temperatures. If you can, please leave out bowls of fresh water for our wildlife so they can drink and bathe to cool down. Many, like this hog I found last year, will easily get dehydrated and you will be a real life saver for them.

Little grebe with a fish at Trumpington Meadows

A little grebe with its catch. By Harry Hog

This week I’ve been out to Trumpington Meadows in Cambridge where I saw  little grebes teaching their young to catch sticklebacks from the pond. These lovely birds are small and quite shy, and always dive under to make a quick get away, but listen out for their shrill calls from the reedbeds, which give them away!  Also around at the moment and likely to be here for a while are the clouded yellow butterflies, which drift over to the UK from the continent during warm weather. Easy to spot and more of a lemon yellow than the usual brimstone we see.

Grey heron and great white egret stepping out together

Grey heron and great white egret. By Harry Hog

A quick visit to Summer Leys in Northants, one of the best birding reserves in the county for sure! - unfortunately a day late to see the wonderful spoonbill that had dropped in. But this incredible place always has something to offer and it was two great white egrets that stole the show. My photo shows one that befriended a grey heron on a previous visit ! Quite common place now, but still spectacular to see. And of course plenty of dragonflies on the wing like the brown and migrant hawkers as well as the largest of Uk species the stunning emperor.

A bedraggled looking hairstreak butterfly

A bedraggled looking hairstreak butterfly. By Harry Hog

My final outing was to Brampton Wood and a real Mecca for butterfly enthusiasts. Only counted 8 species this week, but that included this bedraggled hairstreak. It was coming to the end of its lifecycle and looked like some hungry bird had taken a bite out of its wings !

Get outdoors!

We have something for everyone to enjoy, be it birds, butterflies or bee orchids, or just being out there in the great outdoors. So do get out there and visit, and if Harry Hog’s there too please come and say a social distancing hello!

Also, if you haven’t done so already, please consider becoming a member of our trust, this is so important to us, we couldn’t do any of this without your help. By supporting our conservation work with a small donation it allows us to continue looking after these special places particularly during these difficult times.

'Til next time!

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"Joining your local Trust is one of the most important things you can do to make sure the species and habitats we love will be there for future generations to enjoy."

David Attenborough, President Emeritus of the Wildlife Trusts 

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Barn Owl (Tyto alba) hunting UK - Andy Rouse/2020VISION

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While we have all hunkered down at home to stay safe during the Covid-19 crisis, we haven’t been  able to get out and carry out important work on our reserves or raise necessary funds. Can you help us?

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