Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Saturday, 9 May 2009
The mostly sunny weather today brought out a good few insects and there are now lots of damselflies around, including more Demoiselles, this recently emerged Beautiful Demoiselle was near the Ivy North hide this afternoon, there were also good numbers of Dingy Skippers there still as well. It was also a good day for snakes and I saw at least four Grass Snakes and a large one was reported in the Center pond in the afternoon.
Monday, 4 May 2009
A rather overcast and cool day but with signs of a few more migrant birds than we have had for most of the spring. On Ibsley Water there were 2 Ringed Plover and a Dunlin as well as the 2 Common Sandpipers that seem to have been present for a few days, a Black-tailed Godwit and the usual Redshanks, Lapwings, Little Ringed Plovers and Oystercatchers. The pair of Pintail that avoided being seen by any of the Bird Racers over the weekend were showing for most of the day as were at least 2 Wigeon.
A feature of the day were the increased numbers of Swifts and hirundines, at least 300 Swifts were feeding over the various lakes as well as modest numbers of Swallows, House Martins and some extra Sand Martins.
The Common Terns were displaying and courtship feeding on the rafts on Ivy Lake and did not seem too put off by there being a pair each of Lesser and Great Black-backed Gulls also on the lake. A panoramic shot of the lake from the South hide is at the top page, I will try and post a few more from different places around the reserve if this one is ok.
There seems to be a good bit of rapid flying about by Kingfisher going on from which I guess they are now feeding young. If this is right and they fledge successfully they will have lots of time for a good second brood, all being well there will be plenty about on the lakes later in the summer.
Sunday, 3 May 2009
There were also a few more birds around with two Whimbrel on Ibsley Water for a good part of the day and a report of 7 more flying over. There were also two each of Black-tailed Godwit and Common Sandpiper. Hobbies were more in evidence with three or four circling high overhead. At one point two locked talons and tumbled towards the ground for several hundred feet, they were lost to view behind some trees. Also over were Peregrine and a single drake Goosander. There was also a "new" drake Shoveler on Ivy Lake.
Also on Ivy Lake at least twelve Common Terns on the rafts, but also a pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls. The male of this pair arrived with a bulging neck and the female started to food beg, eventually he produced a waterbird chick of some sort, probably a Moorhen. However he did not seem to have got the idea of courtship feeding and promptly tried ot swallow it again. A tug of war ensued with which he eventually won. Hopefully she will decide he is a dead loss and they will give up and go elsewhere since if they do nest it will probably be the end of the terns.
Saturday, 2 May 2009
A generally bright and sunny day at Blashford today and although there were no many birds to see there were lots on insects about. Both Common Blue Damselfly and Beautiful Demoiselle were recorded for the first time this year. I also saw a new butterfly, in the form of several Dingy Skippers just to the north of the Ivy North hide. I am not sure if they have been recorded there previously, so it might even be a new reserve record. Other butterflies today included Brimstone, several Peacocks and good numbers of Small Coppers.
The Lichen heath was particularly lively in the warm sun with lots of bees and spiders. The picture shows a typical species of sandy places called Arctosa perita not rare but quite impressive with lots of stripes and patches that make it very hard to pick out when it is still. There are also several species of tiny jumping spiders on the heath, but all attempts to get pictures of these have failed as they are so active.