I walked the long way round after opening the hides, going along the Ellingham path beside the Dockens Water, the ground in the shade was still well covered with frost. Despite the cold there were lots of birds singing, especially Treecreepers, they do tend to sing more early in the season, or at least you can hear them more at this time of year, as their song is so thin it often gets drowned out later in the spring. The large oak trees along the path ate a particular favourite with these birds. About half way along the path is an especially striking tree with very thick fissured bark, much of the top has died but it remains very much a feature of this section of the path.
As I had to go out onto the long peninsula to the east of the Tern hide today to clear up some willow trimmings, I took the chance to take a picture of the tern hide from a less usual angle. The ground is now quite clear and should be suitable for nesting Lapwing and other waders.
The 4 Black-necked Grebes first seen yesterday were still on Ibsley Water today and there were also 3 Oystercatchers and also a report of 2 Redshank, the first of the year. As I was stacking the willow brash a pair of Mediterranean Gulls flew overhead calling loudly, it was even more like being in Langstone Harbour than yesterday. There were also about 800 Black-tailed Godwits around for most of the day. I had hoped there might just have been a Little Ringed Plover or a Sand Martin, but no luck.
The screen in the lobby was mostly showing the "pondcam" today and at one point a large dragonfly larva came into view, probably an Emperor. There were also a few Smooth Newts and various water beetles and water boatmen.