A fair bit of running about today meant that I did not have much of a chance to see any wildlife on the reserve. Following on from yesterday, when I was off site for almost the whole day looking at the management of another reserve, so I have to confess to having not a lot of idea what has been about.
Yesterday I saw two of the mandarin on Ivy Lake as I opened up, about 100 siskin in the alders near the Ivy silt pond were also a fine sight. Today out on Ibsley Water shore there was a wheatear, probably the last we will see this year and on the lake itself the goldeneye had increased to two birds, I think an immature drake and a duck.
One task I did do in the day was to check out the ponies on Mockbeggar Lake, when I had checked quickly the other day all I saw were fresh dropping so seeing some animals today was reassuring. I also saw at least 12 little egret with the grey heron on the islands in the lake, the most I have seen for a long time, although it would not have been at all remarkable a couple of years ago.
I was back at the reserve in the evening, in fact I am still there (here) now, so I had a chance to have a quick look at the gull roost on Ibsley Water. I estimated about 9000 large gulls, roughly 8000 lesser black-backed gull, 1000 herring gull and about 1400 black-headed gull. There were also 5 common gull and a few great black-backed gull. This last species has been up to the trick of attacking the smaller gulls to get them to disgorge their last meal. To do this they grab a bird by a wing in flight and shake it, unfortunately this often damages or breaks the wing and is why there are often a few wandering gulls each with a drooping wing wandering the shore of the lake in the daytime. In time most die, or are killed and end up being eaten by either fox or buzzard.