Monday, 28 March 2011

Blackcaps and Mouse Ears

From the Tern hide this morning a swallow was with the sand martins, although the first was over a week ago there have still only been a few through. Looking at the log book I saw that there was a wheatear yesterday, no sign today though. There were at least 5 little ringed plovers though.

Emptying the moth trap the moths were unremarkable, but there was a magnificent female great diving beetle. You can tell it is a female from the ridges on the wing cases.

Near the Centre there was a singing blackcap, my first of the spring and as it turned out just one of at least five on the reserve today, including two males having a prolonged scrap over a territory near the entrance. It just shows that even arriving on the first day does not mean you are assured to get the patch you want. It is this drive to get in first that pushes males to try and arrive as early as possible and is why warmer springs will push the arrival dates back.

I was certainly warm again today and there were lots of butterflies about, including several small tortoiseshell, they have really made a come back after several years of scarcity. Walking across the lichen heath I noticed a small, actually very small, white flower. I think it is dwarf mouse ear, but I am no botanist so I could be wrong.
There are also good numbers of violets out now, I think they are all common dog violet, although the ones on the heath are paler than the ones in the woodland.
Despite all the many signs of spring there were still at least 50 brambling about, although very few siskin and no redpoll that I could see.

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