Its been a quiet week with only one visitor trip this week, another was cancelled due to high wind making the landing difficult. Its given the warden team, the time we needed to get our flock of sheep in and shear them all ready for the ‘hot’ days ahead of us. This was a very tiring job but very satisfying upon completion, it was showers all round afterwards.
It also gave us the time to search for some of the more elusive wildlife that shares Flat Holm with us. We have seen an explosion of caterpillars across the island, particularly on the hawthorn bushes, with Lackey moths and Brown Tailed moth caterpillars putting in an appearance. Caution should be advised around the Brown Tailed moth caterpillars as they can cause allergic reactions in certain people. The Lackey moth caterpillars have a beautiful range of colours across there backs, looking like a 70s rug!!
The beetle highlight is Geotrupes vernalis, a widely distributed species in Britain, commonly seen in sandy, sunny places. It lives in dung, and also in carrion and rotting fungi. This was seen in Johns Plot.
My favourite wildlife spot of the week was the Common Lizard. It is very rarely seen here, with some people not believing me when I said they were living on Flat Holm. They have become a regular sight lately, around the Barracks in at least 3 separate areas, coming out to bask during these wonderful sunny days we are having. They like to come out basking on rocks or wood that has heated up with the morning sun, if you are careful when approaching they won’t run off straight away. They will sometimes sit there long enough to get a wonderful photo as shown.