Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Goldeneye, Goosander and the Great White

The day started grey but quite calm, then rapidly became wet and windy. I opened up the Tern hide to find even fewer Coots, probably well under two hundred now where there were over a thousand only three weeks ago. Still there were certainly four Goldeneye, all "redheads" (which is to say females of juveniles) and shortly after I arrived 12 Goosander flew out from the roost, these too were all "redheads". I also noticed the number of Ruddy Duck had increased with nine female types and one adult drake.

Moving across to the Centre I found a female Sparrowhawk in the car park standing on the back of a bewildered juvenile Woodpigeon. My arrival disturbed it and the hawk flew off. I thought the Woodpigeon would not survive but after a few minutes it too flew off.

The moth trap contained a small selection of species including a fine Merveille du Jour, Brick, Red-line Quaker, Sallow, Feathered Thorn and Common Marbled Carpet. Nothing unusual there, although the two Bricks were both unusually small specimens.

Despite the rain two volunteers turned up to help with the task in the morning. Actually this was ideal and it enabled us to do the clearance of the sightlines at the Ivy North hide. This means that if the Bitterns do return this winter, we will have a reasonable chance of seeing them. This task that would have been difficult to do with many more people as there is not much working room. One of the "problems" that have arisen with the success of the reserve is that we now have a large band of volunteer helpers , obviously this is not a problem as such, but sometimes finding a task that can occupy everybody without getting too dispersed can be a bit of a challenge. Some tasks can take twelve people with ease others only need two or three. Still a great problem to have and we always seem to find lots to do and I suspect will for along time to come.

While we were working a Cetti's Warbler gave a brief burst of song and when I returned in the afternoon I found the Great White Egret standing in the shallows in front of the hide. This was the first time I have seen it on Ivy Lake since it returned. It was also interesting to note that the colour-rings are much cleaner this season and it is quite easy to read the combination.

Lousy weather precluded any pictures today, I will try and get some for the next update, words alone can get a bit dull.

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