Bird headlines: Ibsley Water - Red-crested pochard 1 drake still, also a juvenile little ringed plover, a common sandpiper and a report of a wheatear and a turnstone.
Rockford Lake - the juvenile black tern still present also a juvenile little ringed plover.
After nearly two weeks away from the reserve it was good to be back. I did a fairly comprehensive tour around today, very pleasant but it did highlight the backlog of work clearing paths and trimming trees. It was good to see the juvenile black tern still on Rockford Lake and even better to get a picture of it, albeit not the greatest you will ever see.
A juvenile little ringed plover was good to see although it was probably not reared at Blashford, there was also a second on Ibsley Water. There were also at least 8 common tern, apart from one, all adults. I continued on to the Lapwing hide and Mockbeggar Lake where a green sandpiper was the highlight. From the Lapwing hide the eclipse drake red-crested pochard went well with at least 10 Egyptian geese and the black swan. I got a good count of the mute swan and coot with 210 of the first and 536 of the latter. There were also at least 10 pochard, a good number for the time of year. Two wigeon and a fly over hobby completed the scene. Leaving the hide 2 ravens flew over and the bushes had a range of migrants including reed warblers, chiffchaffs, willow warblers and a lesser whitethroat. A redstart was also seen on the path to the Goosander hide, just after we had seen a fine female adder basking beside the path.
Back over near the Centre a found a stink horn fungus, they really do stink too, near the Woodland hide, it had two beetles feeding on it, they were a species of burying beetle that does not bury things, Oiceoptoma thoracicum.
Close by a striking patch of brilliant yellow on a log beside the path was a patch of yet another slime mould, long time readers will know how much I like these weird things, it is a species known as troll butter, even the name is good.
At the end of the day locking up I saw my first group of swifts for some time, about 20 with a flock of house martin high up over Ibsley Water. Mystery of the day was a blackish-brown lump in a tree at the northern end of Ibsley Water. Apparently it was a buzzard sized bird, I was told it did move, although it was in exactly the same place and position for at least five hours, was it a bird, was it even alive? I just don't know!