When I went to open the hides I had to clear the Woodland hide windows of condensation, a common problem at this time of year. However the windows are often also smeared and it is clear that a bird or bird has been beating their wings against the glass. I know the bird in question is a, or rather two carrion crows, as I have seen them doing it. I can understand that they might be doing it because they can see their reflections, however when the glass is covered in condensation this surely cannot be the case. Judge for yourself, the cleared areas are quite reflective but the misted areas certainly are not.
The moth trap caught quite well last night, both for moths as well as yet another minotaur beetle, this time a male with the "horns".
The moths included 3 spring usher, pale brindled beauty, dotted border, 2 chestnut and 4 March moth. Below are spring usher,
and a March moth.
It was another very fine day and of course a Thursday, so a return of form for the volunteers after last week's aberration. We finished the clearance of small willows for the Million Ponds Project pond creation. Later I continued with removing laurel bushes and thinning some of the planted trees west of Ellingham Pound. There is just a chance I can retrieve some of the hawthorns to make the basis of a hedge if I can get rid of the shading from the laurels.
There were a good few people about today and between them they reported all sorts of birds. The smew were on Ivy Lake but went fishing in the reeds so disappeared from view. There were 2 bittern seen from Ivy North hide and perhaps most remarkable of all the great grey shrike put in a brief appearance at the Woodland hide, not somewhere you would traditionally associate with this species. The 2 black-necked grebe were on Ibsley Water, again on the eastern side of the lake and an adult Mediterranean gull was also seen there. Finally Jim saw a male lesser spotted woodpecker in the trees just by the gate on the north side of Ellingham Drove on the path to the Tern hide, the fifth or sixth sighting in the last couple of months and the third in a fortnight.
Lastly I saw my first bumble-bee of the year today, rather later than usual, it was, as the first ones usually are, a Bombus terrestris and of course a queen.