What a difference a week makes!

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This month I had two visits to Taynish NNR within the space of a week and they couldn’t have been more different, writes Caroline Anderson.  The first visit, on the 4th of July followed a period of torrential rain and pretty well everything was taking its cue from this moth:

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However, there were lots of beautiful flowers with their “open for business” signs out, so I knew it wouldn’t be too long before the pollinators started to appear. Tentative flutterings from some of the resident butterflies caught my eye, Ringlets and Speckled Woods, although a bit battered from the rain, were bravely emerging.

Then it was the turn of the damselflies and bees, beautiful Emeralds and Blue Tails jewel-like amongst the long grass.

Move on a week and the story is even better.   You know its going to be a good day when one of the first things you see are the lizards basking on the boardwalk.  Very cautious and darting off at the slightest movement but managed to catch this wee one scoping its territory.

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The boardwalk is definitely one of the special areas to visit when you come to Taynish, if it’s not covered with dragonflies, damselflies, lizards and toads you have the chance to enjoy the beautiful waterlilies which are in full bloom just now.

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I didn’t have to wait long before being joined by this beautiful Four banded Longhorn beetle who flew in and dropped down beside me.

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On down to the Mill where the beautiful long grass is a haven for some of the most effective pollinators.   Hoverflies, moths, bees and damselflies are only a few of the special visitors to be seen.

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This Common Darter was eating its lunch on one of the picnic benches – it was hard to tell what it was having as only the legs remained!  Very gross and very cool at the same time.

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So even though a week separated my visits, in very different weather conditions, there was still lots of activity,  I just had to look a little harder during the first visit.    So when you visit Taynish and you can’t see anything, just sit, and watch, they will come – I promise!