August and high summer is insect time – the time for us to get to know more about the amazing array of insect life around Cookham. The birds have done most of their breeding and many are now moulting, the adult birds shedding their worn-out feathers from this year's breeding season and growing new, strong, warm feathers to see them through the winter and this year's young losing their first feathers and moulting into their adult coats. While this happens they are vulnerable so they’ll be lying low.
So time to get out and enjoy all our butterflies, moths, dragon and damselflies, bees and all the other more than 24,000 insect species in the UK. WildCookham has a few events for this. On Saturday 20th August you can join us on Marsh Meadow off Cookham Moor for a pond dipping morning where we’ll see some of our aquatic insects and other pond life. And on Monday 22nd August Brian Clews will hold one of his regular ‘What’s About?’ walks, guaranteed to reveal some local wildlife delights.
Our team of Glow worm surveyors will be at work through the month. You can look for these amazing insects (in fact, they are beetles) after dark in roadside verges and field edges, or even in your garden. Or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join one of our teams on a nighttime foray.
Our insects will also be enjoying life on the many trees in Cookham which we are now mapping as part of the national Ancient Tree Inventory. We have a small team doing this and will welcome any additional volunteers for this: no previous experience needed and training provided!
Turning to mammals, while you are out and about listen out for the ‘plop’ as a water vole drops into the water in one of our waterways. WildCookham’s project to reintroduce ‘Ratty’ (for The Wind in the Willows fans) to Cookham saw its second release of just under 100 voles in late June so hopefully they are now breeding here and enjoying their return. Please tell us if you hear or see any.
Cookham Parishioner - August 2022