Butterflies, Swallows and Black Squirrels at Fuller’s Hill Cottages!

Wild life at the Cottages

Red Admiral butterfly at Fuller's Hill Cottages

Red Admiral butterfly at Fuller’s Hill Cottages

Lots of butterflies have been seen in The Tack Room garden recently. Mainly Red Admirals have been identified.

The Red Admiral is a frequent visitor to gardens throughout the British Isles and one of our most well-known butterflies. This butterfly is unmistakable, with the velvety black wings intersected by striking red bands.

This butterfly is primarily a migrant to our shores, although sightings of individuals and immature stages in the first few months of the year, especially in the south of England, mean that this butterfly is now considered resident.

Swallows are currently congregating on the telephone wires at Fuller’s Hill Cottages before they fly South for the Winter. They definitely have the right idea!

Swallows are found in areas where there is a ready and accessible supply of small insects. They are particularly fond of open pasture with access to water and quiet farm buildings. Large reedbeds in late summer and early autumn can be good places to look for pre-migration roosts. They are best seen between March and October.

The way swallows fly in our skies is incredible, any pilot would be jealous of their dexterity and skill!

I am certain I saw a black squirrel scampering up one of the Ash trees last week whilst walking in Waresley Wood. I didn’t get an opportunity to take a photo as it was so quick.

Just over 100 years ago the first black squirrel was recorded in Woburn, Bedfordshire, in 1912.

There is a Black Squirrel Project currently operating as part of a study being undertaken at Anglia Ruskin University, to gather data on the geographical range of the black squirrel within the UK.

Black squirrels originate from North America and are the same species as grey squirrels, the only difference being that they have a piece of DNA missing on a gene that produces pigment, meaning they can only produce black fur.

If you see a black squirrel, please do let them know on their ‘Submit a Sighting’ website at www.blacksquirrelproject.org