Saturday, 23 April 2011

Fishy Business

Absolutely fantastic weather again, so perhaps surprisingly to some, but not to those of us who work at, or visit the reserve regularly, it was reasonably quiet. It's more of a tendency during the summer but this Easter has definitely seen summer temperatures and people tend to head towards the coast when it is hot and sunny and I think other people then tend to avoid the reserve in order not to get caught up in the traffic congestion caused by the seaside day trippers!

For those that did make it to Blashford however there were more Easter Nature trail delights to enjoy and a lot of damselflies - predominantly common blue. Orangetip butterflies were very much in evidence where ever there is hedge-garlic and a solitary little tern was reported over Ibsley Water - the second report of Little Terns this week. Common tern are still yet to arrive in great numbers and the handful that have made it so far are belligerently, but unsuccessfully so far, trying to oust the lesser black backed gulls from the tern rafts on Ivy Lake.

St Georges Day today and I didn't see a St Georges mushroom anywhere, despite looking in the usual spots (it is not a common mushroom on the reserve, but appears regularly in a few spots), but then it has been unseasonably dry and I had seen some at the start of the month (on Mothers Day in fact!). What did catch my eye while collecting in the Easter Trail were these delicious and Rosy looking oak apples on the lovely old oak by the Dockens behind the centre - not the least bit edible of course, despite appearances to the contrary and caused of course by the oak apple gall wasp laying an egg in the buds.

The other thing that caught my eye again today were all of the fish outside the Ivy South Hide - endlessly fascinating to watch which is why I guess fish tanks (used to be) so common in doctor and dentist waiting rooms! The usual large pike were absent, though there was a small 7-8 inch jack-pike, that sadly had drifted off before I managed to get a shot that I thought went someway to showing all of the perch and roach.

Bob is back next week so normal blog service will resume shortly!

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