The patches of reed around Ivy lake all seem to have their own reed warbler and the small clump beside the Ivy South hide is no exception. After a bit of effort I got a picture of it singing away. I was also pleased to see at least a dozen common tern on the rafts with much courtship feeding and general pairing behaviour going on. I was less pleased to see the pair of lesser black-backed gull still hanging around.
Walking on round the path beside Ellingham Lake a chiffchaff singing high in an alder also gave the chance of a picture.
I did the full round of the hides, something I had not done in several weeks. Up at the Lapwing hide a swift flew over, my first this year. In front of the hide a pair of lesser black-backed gull included a colour-ringed bird, although not the one from the Ivy rafts as this was a red ring which I think was engraved with AN in white, news on origin will follow when I have it.
On the way to the hide I was very frustrated by trying to get a picture of a downy emerald dragonfly. I have never got a picture of this species, it rarely seems to settle and when it does it always seems to be high in a tree. So finding one low down in a willow, I set about getting a shot, but auto-focus foiled me every time, always choosing the twigs in the background. However later I got a second bite of the cherry when another flew in and landed right beside me, so here it is:
Besides the emerald other Odonata were all damselflies, including large red, azure, common blue and blue-tailed and all in fair numbers. Butterflies were also quite obvious with red admiral, peacock, speckled wood, orange tip, green-veined white, small white, large white and small copper.
As well as all the insects the warm weather has brought on the plants as well and I found a good few twayblade, a rather unprepossessing orchid, named fro the two large leaves.
More showy were the leopard's bane flowers beside the Dockens Water bridge from the Tern hide, this is not a British native, although it is wild not far away in Europe.
Birds were rather few, a pair of Mediterranean gull flew over calling and a hobby was hunting insects over Ivy Lake this afternoon. Out on Ibsley Water at least 4 wigeon, a pair of teal and a female goosander were reminders of winter. Potential bird of the day was just missed, a black kite was reported flying over Ibsley North lake and would probably have been visible from the reserve if I had been looking the right way at the right time!