Sunday, 6 June 2010

A Day for the Chicks

Don't worry I am not having a retro moment, there really were lots of chicks about at Blashford today. At the Tern hide the three Lapwing chicks that were first seen yesterday spent the day on the shore in front of the hide, they have along way to go if they are to fly, but they have at least survived another night. In the distance lots of Black-headed Gull chicks can be seen on the island at the top of the lake.
Also from the Tern hide a pair of Shelduck were bobbing about with their two ducklings, I can't help feeling they would have had a lot more at hatching, but these were only a few days old at most so the loss rate has probably already been alarming.
On Ivy Lake the first of the Common Tern chicks on the rafts have hatched and I expect the others will not be far behind.

The slightly unexpected warm sunshine made for a good insect day, there were Scarce Chaser dragonflies, Emperors and a Four-spotted Chaser. Towards the end of the day I was outside the Center when a huge parasitic Ichneumon wasp Rhyssa persuasoria, I was not quick enough to get a picture, but look it up on the web and see if you would be happy to have one land on you! It was actually harmless, at least to me but magnificent to look at.

The highlight of the day was a moth, although not much to look at the Lunar Yellow Underwing is a real find. It is a nationally notable species that is mainly found in the Breckland area of Norfolk. It had been recorded from Blashford before, a few years ago, but it was uncertain if that one was a wanderer or part of a local population. The dry sparse grassland that is found in places on the reserve is just right for it but there was no evidence it bred here. Today's moth was very fresh and put together with the earlier record makes it more or less certain that there is a local population.
Other moths included Poplar Hawk, Eyed Hawk, Elephant Hawk, Buff-tip, Light Brocade, Vine's Rustic and various others, in fact probably the best night of the year so far.

On a day when birds were few the return of the Osprey was the highlight, it was reported circling over Mockbeggar Lake.

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