We had a fascinating wildlife afternoon at the Linklater last Sunday. Despite the changeable weather, from hot sun to heavy showers, there was still plenty to see and share with the Bank Holiday Sunday visitors. Adjacent to the reserve on the banks of the River Ouse a patient heron hunted for small fish, standing patiently with only slight movements of its head. In the winterbourne stream the now grown up moorhen chicks are difficult to distinguish from the parents.
As I walked along the banks of the winterbourne a large fish, possibly a sea trout, shot past. There were also several large dragonflies on the wing – most appeared to be southern hawker dragonflies. Perfect weather for flying as they need to warm their wings before flying and there were also plenty of other flying insects for them to hunt.
In the river room of the Linklater we had set up two microscopes, one for viewing large pond creatures and a second microscope to show microscopic life.
Both microscopes were connected to a laptop and live images from the microscopes could be streamed to a large screen.
Water scorpion Fish fry
After a quick pond dip we brought the creatures back to the Linklater. This included a freshwater stick insect – the first we had seen on the reserve during the two year project. The pond dip also revealed water boatman, water beetles, damselfly nymphs, mayfly nymph’s pond snail and many other pond creatures including fish fry.
The live creatives were projected onto the screen and we also discussed the underwater webcams and the views that we could see and also the video library clips.
The creatures were all returned safely to the reserve at the end of a very enjoyable and successful day.
Visit this page and keep an eye out for more information and video footage of the water stick insect and heron feeding coming soon.