Saturday, 4 July 2009

Blashford abuzz

Friday at Blashford Lakes was hot, not always sunny, but very warm, ideal for insects. Fittingly the day resulted in several species being recorded for the first time this year and one completely new site record. New for this year were Roesel's Bush Cricket (heard buzzing away around Ibsley Water particularly near the Lapwing hide), Gatekeeper (although I suspect there have been a few out before now) and the fine Silver-washed Fritillary pictured below.
The new species for the reserve was on the same flowers at the same time and was a Broad-bordered Bee Hawk Moth. Quite a scarce species, the larvae feed on honeysuckle and the adult hovers at flowers int he same way as Hummingbird Hawk Moths. It is not a great picture, but it was pretty fast moving. Perhaps because the wings are so hard to see, being fast moving and transparent, they always give me the impression of small frantic cuddly toy, certainly unmoth-like moths at any rate.

The four Little Ringed Plover chicks were all still running around by the Tern hide during the day, although I did not see any at the end of the day, hopefully they were just hiding. At least two of the Lapwing chicks are still present as is the, now half grown, Oystercatcher chick. A not great picture of one of the Little Ringed Plovers and mum is below. Although they are very close there always seems to be some vegetation in the way!
Meanwhile on Ivy Lake more of the tern chicks have flown, possibly as many as ten now and still lots more chicks growing. Both Coot and Great Crested Grebe are on nests on stick rafts in front of the Ivy South hide, so hopefully there will be more to report for some time yet.

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