Saturday, 13 March 2010

A Sap, Sap, Sappy Day

A fine sunny day and the reserve was quite busy with visitors, including two groups. I went round with one of them and so had a rare chance to visit all the hides in succession. On Ibsley Water we saw at least 3 of the Black-necked Grebes, although four were seen by others and there were also good numbers of Goosander and Goldeneye to keep everyone happy.
At the Woodland hide there are still about 20 Brambling and a few Siskin but still no Redpoll. As usual there were Great Spotted Woodpeckers at the feeders digging out the peanuts.
A Sycamore tree near the path between the Woodland and Ivy North hides was showing clear signs of woodpecker activity. It was not the usual excavation though, but a line of holes, each weeping sap. This evidence of sap-sucking, a behaviour more associated with woodpeckers in N. America where some species are even called Sapsuckers. I have seen this before, although never so close to the ground as here, although the same tree had signs of similar activity higher up as well.
In the afternoon I visited the Tern hide where there was a Green Sandpiper on the near shore as well as at least three displaying male Lapwings. I got a moderate picture of the sandpiper, although the light was not ideal.
Unfortunately another sighting from the same hide was less welcome, people on the north shore of the lake with dogs and ferrets hunting rabbits. I went round to ask them to leave, this they did after the usual pointless "conversation", a rather imperfect end to an otherwise pleasant day. For some reason there has been a increase in the number of ferreting incident recently, this is at least the third in the last fortnight or so.
Still no summer migrants, surely there will be some by the time I am next at the reserve on Tuesday.

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