Had a lovely start to the day - the Little Ringed Plover are still sitting, despite the events that Bob described in the last posting and walking by "Badger Hill" on the way to opening up the Woodland Hide had a smashing view of a Roe Deer with two kids.
Making the most of a sunny day with no groups booked in and (most!) of the more pressing paperwork in hand, I extended my walk opening up the hides by continuing on to the south of Ellingham Lake, along Ivy Lane and then up to Lapwing and Goosander Hides via the Rockford/Ivy Lakes track. As usual on a glorious day in July, the reserve was quiet (we assume that people are in town or on the beach, but perhaps not?), allowing me to fully appreciate our tranquil setting and the scents, sights and sounds of insects feeding on the bramble and creeping thistle flowers (it may sound a little strange, but if you never have sniffed a creeping thistle, I urge you to give them a go, just beware the bees! They have a very strong honey like scent). Dragonflies were also on the wing aplenty, particularly along the warm sheltered paths by Rockford and up through the willow and reed to Lapwing. Very prominent today were red admiral, meadow brown, comma, small skipper, small tortoiseshell and common blue. Representing the dragonflies were plenty of emperor, scarce chaser, southern hawker, common blue and beautiful demoiselle.
The bee orchids are still flowering on the way up to Lapwing Hide and I also spotted what I took to be a southern marsh/common spotted orchid nearer the Goosander end of the path.
The reserve was a little busier this afternoon, mostly with people enjoying the wildlife and the reserve in the manner for which it is intended, but then, oh dear, a couple of misguided cyclists opted to take a stroll along the southern shore of Ibsley Water to look for a "nice spot for a rest and a picnic". Alerted to their presence by visitors in the Tern Hide (thank you) they were redirected onto the footpath. They were clearly not intending any harm (if they were they probably would not have been advertising their presence with fluorescent yellow hi-viz jackets!), but ignorance is no excuse. It always amazes me how people can manage to climb over locked gates without even realising they are doing so?!
Would have posted some lovely photos of assorted dragonflies, butterflies and flowers, but the camera isn't talking to the computer. Will edit them in later if I can get it sorted.
Hopefully it will be a quiet night tonight.