It was volunteer Thursday again and today's task was to start pulling Himalayan balsam, almost a month earlier than usual. We combined this with filling some holes that had washed out along the Dockens Water bank where it over-topped last winter. When we returned to the store a large queen hornet was spotted on one of the spare nest boxes, she was magnificent and as she flew off was reminiscent of a female broad-bodied chaser dragonfly!
There were a few migrant birds today, a whimbrel was on Ibsley Water as were 4 black-tailed godwit, although these looked like first summer birds. A drake goosander spent pretty much all day on the shore near the Tern hide and was joined by a duck in the afternoon. Over the lake good numbers of swift were screaming around and a hobby dashed through just as I finished my lunch. On Ivy Lake I think 14 pairs of common terns are now settled with eggs being incubated, a further two pairs seem to be on territory but not yet eggs.
Finally I give advance warning that on Sunday there is to be a birdwatching event at Blashford Lakes. Young birdwatching groups from all over Hampshire will be spending the day bird watching and doing various wildlife related activities. This will mean that the reserve will be busy with groups all day, although not closed to other visitors, there will be some restrictions on parking and the hides are likely to be extra busy.