© Andrew Moon

Covid-19 restrictions meant cancellaton of this year's public Butterfly and Dragonfly Walk. However a couple of our FoSL members, father and son Rob and Alex Liddle, who are great at identifying these insects, agreed to do a walk around the lake for us and report back on what they saw. Below is their report. You can also download an illustrated version from here.

As expected given the arrival of storm Dennis on Saturday and overnight into Sunday, no-one turned up for the walk, although from about 10.00 to 10.30 the weather was not too bad.

Dick Beeden led the walk which was attended by 6 other people. Like last year it was windy and cool. This year clouds were scudding across the sky in the strong winds giving periods of bright sunshine on and off throughout the morning. This gave pretty good light for identifying the birds most of the time. There were a good number on the lake but the surrounding trees etc were fairly quiet. We saw all the species we heard and ended with a tally of 30 species (half a dozen less than last year).

At our Recruitment Day, despite being a gloomy day, we had a steady flow of folk and we managed to secure nine signed-up members. A number without cash [only cards] took forms away to join online. 

We received donations of £15.00. There was much recognition during the day of FoSL’s valuable conservation works round the lake, particularly the introduction of the Dexter cattle for wildflower meadow management. And of course, we were able to showcase our new "Council for the Protection of Rural England" conservation award, framed and proudly placed on the recruitment desk. Lastly, the appearance of the plastic heron was a humorous talking point - a definite star attraction for future recruitment days.

Russell Ball

Saturday was a day of gale force winds and I very much wondered whether we would have to cancel Sunday. However, Sunday morning was partly sunny, although windy at times.
 
Twelve of us gathered on the Causeway.  I had enlisted the help of members, Cliff, Alex and Anna and with their expertise we had a great time identifying far more butterflies and dragonflies than we thought we would see.  We started off towards the path leading towards Fort Drew and before we had gone very far saw a brown hawker dragonfly and a number of insects.
An overcast afternoon but luckily the rain held off and made for quite a comfortable walk.  16 of us gathered on the Causeway to see what wildflowers we would see this year.  This was in contrast to the year before, when we had to contend with hot unrelenting sunshine.
 
Janet Lowndes had the wealth of wildflower knowledge and we cannot thank her enough for joining us again.  Quite a number of those who were on the walk also had some knowledge of wildflowers and it was great to share information as we walked around Stockers Lake.