Saturday, 2 April 2011

Computer down - hurrah!

Regular visitors to Blashford today were surprised (dare I say even pleased?) to discover a very rare sight today - namely my legs! Popular myth has it that I don't actually have any as most days I can be found driving my desk with only my upper body visible if I am not leading activities with a group. Today however the Trusts computer network was being overhauled so unable to access all of the administrative duties that would normally have chained me to my desk I was able to get out and about on a long overdue tour of the reserve...

...with all of the day before me I was even able to take my time going through the moth trap which was a very pleasant change. It doesn't happen nearly ofetn enough, so for the most part I haven't a clue what I'm looking at, so always like to see those moths that "do what they say on the tin" like this Hebrew character and twin spotted quaker, neither of which are at all unusual, but are easily recognisable and demonstrate wonderful camouflage:

Another moth that Bob has posted before over the last few weeks of which there were a number, and worth another posting because they are so handsome (or should that be beautiful?), is the oak beauty. It was while photographing this that a flash of orange caught my eye and looking up to see what had escaped the trap I realised that it was in fact my first orangetip butterfly of the year passing by. It was the only one I saw but there were plenty of peacocks and brimstones across the reserve throughout the day.

Opening up the brambling were very obvious again today - noticeably absent at the feeders at that particular time, but very vocal in the tree tops. Elsewhere on the reserve a female lesser spotted woodpecker gave an early visitor great views in the birch/alder woodland between Ivy North Hide and the badger sett - unfortunately several other visitors were not so lucky as is usually the case. It's just one of those birds!

The usual small perch and roach were all hiding behind the somewhat larger pike in the shallows outside Ivy South Hide, as has been normal since the weather started warming up this spring and I was pleased to see a grass snake in the dead hedge by Ivy Silt pond again on my way back up to the centre - unfortunately it was too quick to get a picture of.

Little ringed plover, redshank and lapwing were all showing well and performing nicely from Tern Hide all day and I enjoyed a stroll along the river towards Goosander Hide for the first time in ages, catching the last of the wild daffodils (now well over by the Woodland Hide) and the carpet of other spring flowers including lesser celandine, and the moschatel and ground ivy pictured:

Goosander Hide is always a spectacle once the sand martins arrived and today was no exception.

Lapwing Hide didn't have so much going on, but I was pleased to have made the walk up there to see the last of the coltsfoot. Even better having seen a grass snake earlier and knowing it was warm but not particulalrly sunny I was really hoping for an adder - and was not disapointed as I found this lovely female (males tend to be silver, females bronze) basking close to the path on an old brash pile. Perfect end to a perfect day:

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