Edited July entries by Steve Hooper-Lawrie

Molting Time

You can’t have failed to have noticed that both the Swans and Geese have congregated down by the Levington end island.

Why you may ask?

Well they are about to begin (if they haven’t already begun) their yearly molt. Large birds, like Swans and Geese, go through a full molt once a year. They replace all their feathers in one go, which leaves them flightless once last seasons feathers have been molted and until the replacements have grown.

OK what about the birds that need to continue flying I hear you ask?

Well nature ,being as ingenious as it is, has come up with an ingenious solution. Birds that need to fly throughout the year will  partially molt in the spring and complete their molt in the autumn, thereby enabling them to continue flying.

Birds like the puffin (left) need to preen for flying constantly to survive

There are at present large numbers of Dragonflies and Damselflies both on the lake and meadow. There are also large numbers of both butterflies and moths on the wing


Meadow and Surroundings

The meadow on the way down to the lake should be in full flower by now and the Poppies have been putting on a wonderful show. Hedgerow flowers will also be in full bloom. Not only are the flowers colourful but will also be attracting a multitude of equally colourful insects like Hoverflies.


There are about 60 species of Butterflies in the UK and July is the peak month for finding these beautiful insects. There are Peacocks, Painted Lady (no not the sort you’d find in town at night!), Red Admirals, Tortoiseshells and Meadow Browns to mention a few.


There will also be some daylight flying moths like the 5 spot Burnet Moth and I have also seen Hummingbird Hawk Moths feeding at noon on a hot summer day. There is a basic Butterfly and Bumblebee ID chart in the shed on the Nature board, for those interested.

You should see lots of juvenile birds about this month as all the young leave the nest and venture forth. The pair of Swans have a cygnet and the Greylag and Canada Geese will have their goslings out on the lake. There are a large number of prime flight feathers laying around as both the Swans and the Geese commence their annual moult which they accomplish while their young are unable to fly. The mature birds will have accomplished this by the time the young are ready to begin trying out their wings and take to the air. Birds that need to keep flying all year round accomplish their mould by doing two partial moults and thereby replace their feathers over a longer time frame.

A warm day with little wind offers a good opportunity to see reptiles basking in a sunny spot. I haven’t seen it yet this year but there was a Grass Snake that was seen quite often seen basking down by the second staging up from the Dam wall. It was also seen swimming across the lake.  There are also Common Lizards.



Corixidae is a family of aquatic insects in the order Hemiptera that inhabit ponds and slow moving streams.They swim near the bottom and are sometimes referred to as Back swimmers as they swim using their hind legs as oars.  Their lifecycle includes three stages, egg, nymph (which looks like a small adult) and adult. In optimal conditions Backswimmers can produce several generations in a year. Backswimmers perform the unusual behavior of swimming upside down while on their backs. Croixia will be abundant in the lake water over the next few months so it might be worth casting an imitative pattern.


I would greatly appreciate and feedback as well as any sightings or points of interest you think should be included

More Archived Documents Just Click on the Month you want to visit



Please let me know what you think about my Diary Entries.


The Diary is for your enjoyment

We want to help you get the most from the lake and surroundings and add an extra dimension to your fishing

Your Help
If you see something and want to know more, just let me know.

Your Ideas
Want to see an article included - easy - just let me know and I'll try my best

There's a whiteboard in the shed. Just leave a message there and I'll pick it up

Send an e-mail HERE and Paul will pass it on.

(If your browser, or e-mail client can't handle the link then send your e-mail to

Home | Members Page | About Us | Contact Us | Site Map | Privacy

This site is copyright © 2016 sffc.org.uk

Free Dreamweaver Templates | E-commerce Web Hosting | Car Insurance Quotes