Reflecting on pools and the Simmer Dim

Meadow brown by Alan Wright

Our mosses have residents but also many visitors popping in on their way to warmer places and breeding grounds, Dave Steel continues his 30 Days Wild odyssey.

Once more as it called out its alarm at my presence of the reserve pathway one of our curlews reminded me that our moss was still hosting a successful breeding season. This is one of the three pairs of these birds that just love the restoration of Little Woolden Moss by the LWT.

This then took me into that reflective mode that such grey-skied, non-summer-looking summer days induce and, after a good wander, I settled on the 7,000-year-old bog oak that substitutes for the seats once found in the hide, before it was vaporised by fire.

Here, my mind led me into - where are they now? How are they doing? Will they and their young call in on the reserve on their migration back to Africa?

They being the wading birds that, at month start, called onto our moss and, as with the curlew liked what they saw, took time to rest and refuel before they pushed on ever northward to their particular Shangri-La. A place where there are long summer Arctic nights which only retreat into Simmer Dim - a phrase I have heard used in northern Scotland, which sums up their oft non-dark but grey backlit nights.

Their choosing to travel that far gives them, obviously, much longer days in order to raise their families, with a plentiful supply of insects emerging from such remote locations.

Reverie over, as a bit of warmth then took me in search of butterflies, which of late has been rare as we have had little too much rain.

Red admiral, meadow brown, speckled wood then fluttered onto my list, which I completed by checking out the pools, which had to round off my thoughts for the day. Common sandpiper and ringed plover were there, which may already have raised their young. They were perhaps moving into summer moult and planning where to spend the winter. The early days WILD of summer already being chased by autumn.

30 Days Wild