Thursday, 29 September 2011

Great White, Black-necked, Mottled and Very Warm

Bird News: Ibsley Water - great white egret 1 (the usual bird), black-necked grebe 1, garganey 1, pintail 1.
Ivy Lake - Cetti's warbler 1 (singing), water rail 2 adults.
A fabulous day for late September, it started clear, calm and misty. I am fortunate to have to travel through the New Forest to get to work and it was a very fine morning to do so. The scene was of sunrise over mist shrouded heath with the occasional rush of austerity Britain as I was passed by a range of open-topped prestige motor cars, also enjoying the last blast of summer. Arriving at Blashford I could not see across Ibsley Water for mist, but did get a picture of a flock of greylag geese as they passed over into the valley after roosting on Mockbeggar Lake.
Opening the hides, there were few birds to see but the walk was very pleasant with the dew hanging on the cobwebs and shafts of sunlight through the trees.
The moth trap was again quite busy after another fairly night, the only new moth for the year was a beaded chestnut.
Other moths included a red underwing, black rustic, large yellow underwing, sallow, brimstone, pinion-streaked snout, large wainscot and broad-bordered yellow underwing. There was also a good turn out of caddis flies once again and I managed to get a picture of the largest.
It was Thursday, so the volunteers were in again, eleven of us cleared a few strategic willows to open up the views from the Ivy North hide. We did a surprising amount considering the exhausting hot and humid day.
I then spent lunchtime in the Tern hide. I had a quick look there before the volunteers arrived when I got a few pictures of a coot perched on the floating perch, complete with a fine reflection. It also shows that a coot's feathers are not all black, or more strictly dark grey, the white trailing edge to the secondaries shows well in the picture.
From the same hide at lunchtime I was pleased to see the great white egret, even if distantly, this was as part of the directions to an "odd" duck seen by a visitor, the duck was a garganey, my first this year. Lunch was rounded off with the black-necked grebe, all in all not a bad lunch. Les unusual was a lapwing on the shore near the hide, it looked rather tatty bird as it was still moulting.In the afternoon I went to check what still needs to be done after this morning's task, I think one more day will be enough for this season. I went via the lichen heath where the sunshine had made the last of the common centaury flowers open, they only unfold in sunshine, so today was just what they needed.
There were also several grasshoppers including at least two mottled grasshopper, I had completely failed to find this species earlier in the summer so it was good to see them.
I am an inveterate roller of logs, just to take a look and doing just that I was surprised to find several small flies, I got a quick picture of one and it was rather fine, I have no idea what it is though.
From the Ivy North hide I had a good view of two adult water rail just to the east of the hide. Lastly I got a picture of a red admiral as I went to lock up the Ivy South hide. In fact I probably saw more butterflies today than I have for some weeks. Red admirals were flying south over Ibsley Water all day, a small copper was on the heath, a comma at the Centre and I also saw a single female brimstone.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Wildfowl, Wasps and a few Butterflies

Bird News: Ibsley Water -green sandpiper 2, black-necked grebe 1, pintail 1 drake, hobby 1.
Rockford Lake - common tern 1 juvenile.
Ibsley North Lake - greenshank 1.
Dockens Water Woodland - crossbill 2+
We did the first waterbird count of the "winter" today, no great surprises, although on Iblsey Water 866 coot were notable as were 58 little grebe, although they are so hard to count that this will have been a fair bit fewer than were actually present.
The weather was fabulous, if a bit too hot and humid. The sun shone from the start, a real reminder of summer, or at least what we might have hoped for in summer but actually got in spring. That it was actually autumn was plain from the fungi sprouting all over the place, I found the ones below on the trunk of a cherry plum, they are vaguely like a hoof fungus, but I don't think that is what they are.
As I went between the lakes I also came across the bird of the day, which was crossbill, or probably crossbills, calling in the top of a tree along the Dockens Water path. I was on the edge of the lichen heath at the time investigating some nesting holes of a Colletes bee, the picture I got was of a wasp though, it seemed to be digging a nest hole. Only when I looked at the picture did I notice the fly beside it, I suspect it is the wasp's prey and there to provision the nesting hole, but that is just a guess.
There were also fungi out on the heath including the one below that looks like it belongs on a flower-pot man's head (ask your granny).
The sun brought out a few butterflies, there have been very few about recently, but today I saw red admiral, speckled wood, a very late meadow brown and the small copper below.
The butterflies that are out and about do not have much choice of flowers to nectar from, I found a few heath speedwell flowering.
One or two mid summer species are flowering again, a little anyway, one of these is the ox-eye daisy, I even saw a foxglove with a few flowers the other day.
I have not totalled all the counts yet but here are a few of the totals for all the counted lakes:
Coot 1555, little grebe 77, wigeon 54, tufted duck 186.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The View Opens Out

Bird News: Ibsley Water - wigeon 41, dunlin 1.
Ivy Lake - wigeon 21, Cetti's warbler 1, water rail 1+, kingfisher 2+.
Rockford Lake - black tern 1 juv. (reported).
The moth trap was busy even if the species were unremarkable, still I remain hopeful of good things in the next few days. There were several caddis-flies though, these are tricky to get pictures of as they are so flighty, but I did manage one shot, not sure of the species though.
Most of the day was spent working with four volunteers opening up sight-lines from Ivy North hide and putting some wood preservative on the hide. A bit more work to come on Thursday then we should be done in that area until next year. I will put up some before and after shots when we finish on Thursday, if it were not for the volunteers keeping any decent view from some of the hides would be difficult, plants will insist on growing!
I am pleased to say that both of the raft spiders are still present on the Centre pond, despite the nearest and largest, having been a bit alarmed by pond-dipping children on Sunday. It is not quite so close now but at least it is still there.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Violet and the Beauty

Bird News: Ibsley Water - common tern 1 juvenile (morning only), ringed plover 1 juvenile, ruff 1 juvenile (still), swallow c180, house martin c40, black tern 1 juvenile (later in the day), great white egret 1 (the usual bird seen near the Lapwing hide pm.), wheatear 1.
Centre - lesser redpoll 1+ over calling, siskin 50+.
The moth trap was quite busy, but when I lifted the trap to go through it I noticed a fine violet ground beetle that had been hiding underneath.
Twenty-three species of moths was a good haul and it included the first spruce carpet of the year, a migrant rusty-dotted pearl and this bordered beauty.
Another, that I think is the first this year was L-album wainscot pictured below. This used to be a rare migrant, but it became established in Devon about eighty years ago and has spread along the south coast. The next few days look very promising for migrant moths, with warm conditions arriving from the continent, I have high hopes.
The trap still attracts a range of other insects as well, there are usually several caddis-flies, beetles and a few bugs. Forest bug is the most frequent, closely followed by birch bug, but today there was another Pantilius tunicatus which I do not remember seeing before.
As the season has moved on the sand martins, so much in evidence a week ago are pretty much all gone now. There are still house martins, but now swallows are the most numerous, not long ago I found it hard to pick any out in the swarms of martins. A feature of this autumn has been the number of siskins, for at least two weeks they have been flying over on most days and there are about fifty in the alders now. It seems they are having a bumper year with record numbers recorded on passage at more northern sites already, despite their migration usually peaking several weeks later than this in a typical year. Perhaps it is going to be a mega-finch winter.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Black Tern Bonanza!

Stuck on car parking duty trying to safely park 400 triathletes "racking" their bikes for the Ellingham Lake starting triathlon event tomorrow morning is not my idea of the best way to spend an afternoon, but considering the number of people coming and going it all went relatively smoothly.

Visitor highlights included the two raft spiders still showing well on the Centre pond, kingfisher and water rail at Ivy North Hide and over Ibsley Water a veritable swarm of black terns! At lunch time there were about 30, but by the end of the day this had gone up to reports of 50 (I had at least 45 birds twice myself). Quite the spectacle - ever so often a lone butterfly could be seen flying west across the water and I didn't see one make it to the other shore, all of them being swept up by a swooping black tern!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Sandpiper Caught on the Hop

Bird News: Ibsley Water - ruff 1 juvenile (still present), ringed plover 1 juvenile, common sandpiper 1 juvenile, house martin c800, sand martin c300, swallow c100.
It was foggy when I arrived and so at first I saw almost nothing but a few nearby coot. So I headed off to open the hides and came back to the Tern hide at about 08:30 when the sun was out. It was pretty quiet, or at least I could not find much of interest, a juvenile common sandpiper on the shore near the hide at least meant I had a bird to feature here though, bird pics have been a bit few and far between recently.
The moth trap contained a few new species for the year as more autumn species show up. The new species were "autumnal" moth or at least one of the Epirritia group of species, although it must be recently emerged it was already quite worn. Much fresher was a fine moth that I'm afraid I do not really appreciate fully as a red-green colour-blind person, a red-green carpet.
The last new one was a brown-spot pinion, although this one is trying very hard to look like a beaded chestnut, but I think just failing.
I was not on the reserve for long today, in fact I was away shortly after lunch and the morning was mostly taken up with more tree clearance and catching up with emails, hence the rather thin wildlife recording.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Record Turn-out

Bird News: Ibsley Water - ruff 1 juv., knot 1, ringed plover 2 juv., black-tailed godwit 1, black-necked grebe 1, wigeon 13, Egyptian goose 7, house martin c500 (early am.), sand martin c1200 (reported pm)
Ivy Lake - green sandpiper 1, wigeon 11.
It was a very fine day, as is appropriate it being volunteer Thursday. Twenty-two volunteers, I think a record turn-out, continued the clearance of willows from the shore of Ivy Lake. I reckon this area has the potential to become a really good piece of habitat given a few years to develop. Another week and we should be finished and ready to start on the willows beside the Ivy North hide.
The fine weather brought out a good few migrant hawker dragonflies, including one that got into the Centre. The willows seem very popular with ladybirds, several were the ailen harlequins, but most were kidney-spot ladybirds. These are very round and black with two red, kidney-shaped spots and seem to prefer to sit on the tree trunks rather than the leaves.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Mud and Moths

Bird News: Ibsley Water - ruff 1 juv., dunlin 1, ringed plover 1 juv., oystercatcher 1, black-necked grebe 1.
Ivy Lake - water rail 2, green sandpiper 1, Cetti's warbler 1.
The moth trap was quite busy following a mild night, highlights were a fine red underwing, below.
The autumn moths are really picking up now, with lots of lunar underwing, sallows and my first black rustic of the autumn.
Although there was not much change in the birds from yesterday, the oystercatcher was the first I have seen on the reserve for some time. The number of martins had dropped somewhat, but there were still over a thousand, mainly house martins.
We continued work on the willow clearance on Ivy Lake, things are getting muddy now that the stumps are coming out, but progress continues apace.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A Tern, a Grebe and a Slug

Bird News: Ibsley Water - black tern the adult still at least in the morning, ruff 1 juv, knot 1, dunlin 2, ringed plover 1 juv, common sandpiper 1, black-necked grebe 1, sand martin c1200, house martin c500, swallow c200, wigeon 9.
Ivy Lake - green sandpiper 2, water rail 1, wigeon 10.
Not much change in the birds of late, although this does mean there is a good range of species. The high numbers of martins have really been a feature of this autumn and they continue to swarm over Ibsley Water, strictly the sand martins and swallows are over the lake and the house martins over the trees beside the lake. When I opened the Ivy North hide I was greeted by one of those scenes you sometimes see of "Birds you can see from here" an assemblage that you never actually seem to see, but today I did. Just below the hide 2 green sandpiper were feeding with a kingfisher perched on a reed mace stem just above them, when a water rail ran out and stopped briefly beside the sandpipers.
Less appealing, at least to most, was the very fine slug I found crossing the path to the Ivy South hide, it was the common slug Arion ater.
We were working beside Ivy Lake again today, clearing yet more of the willows that have invaded the shallows, this will be the last session as tomorrow I am getting the stumps dug out, just in time as the lake level is rising as the water pumped out slowly returns from Blashford Lake. The pictures show before we started this morning.
Followed by the view at the end of the day, it is wonderful what five volunteers and me and my chainsaw can do in a day. In fact we cleared so far that I could not get it all in shot, but you get the idea. Hopefully the reeds will spread back into the cleared area over the next few years to give us a valuable new area of habitat.

Monday, 19 September 2011


Bird News: Ibsley Water - ruff 1 juvenile, dunlin 3, knot 1, ringed plover 1 juvenile, black tern 1 adult.
I was busy with meetings for the whole morning, but at lunchtime there was reason to get the telescope out. In fact Michelle even took a look, now you might wonder what we were looking at, it is clear Michelle is hardly looking far across Ibsley Water.
In fact the target was not a bird but and this is a first for me, a spider. There are few occasions when using a telescope to look at a spider would seem even slightly sensible, but this assuredly was one of them. I even got a passable digi-scoped picture of it. As it is a raft spider it does have the advantage of being large, but it must be one of very few British spiders that you would even use a telescope to observe.
One interesting thing that the picture shows is the strands of silk, forming an untidy web. Many of the sources I have looked up imply that these spiders only spin a web when they lay eggs and hunt without one. This web looks like a hunting aid though, so perhaps they use silk more often than is thought.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

A Trip to the Seaside

I was not at Blashford today, instead I had a morning at the seaside helping out with the big beach clean, part of the Marine Conservation Society's "Beachwatch Big Weekend". We had a team of volunteers cleaning rubbish from a section at the base of Hurst Spit, roughly 200m long and either side of the shingle ridge. The object was to do more than just collect rubbish, we also recorded every piece, including the small bits, which are actually often the most dangerous to wildlife as they get mistaken for food.
It was fairly windy and rain threatened, but the task became strangely compelling. On the seaward side of the ridge the rubbish was mostly bits of nylon rope and cord, fishing line and various bit of broken plastic.
On the landward side there was a lot more miscellaneous wrappers from chocolate bars and the like, no doubt blown there by the wind and trapped in the vegetation. The overwhelming dominance of plastics of one sort or another would be a feature wherever in the world we had done this event, such is the pervasiveness and persistence of these materials. The clearing crew are pictured below at the end of the event.
It was not all rubbish though, a whinchat on the fence as I parked the car and a wheatear on the shingle ridge were both good to see. A brief look out to sea yielded a flock of about 40 gannet, a dark phase arctic skua and further out another unidentified small skua. I also found a small insect under a clump of beach vegetation, at first sight it looked like an ant, but then I could see it was a tiny wingless wasp. It appears to be a species of the Tiphiidae, small parasites which have only the males winged. Although there seem to be very few British species I cannot find enough information to identify the species.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Acorns - beware

It was a surprisingly warm and pleasant day in the end today - surprising because I drove to work through an absolutely torrential downpour. It only lasted about 20 minutes, but what a 20 minutes it was!

The heading refers to the heavy acorn crop (and indeed beech mast crop too) that there seems to be across the Forest this year and the fact that as they ripen they are starting to drop out of their "cups". One gave me a right clonk on the head by Ivy South Hide this morning - head wear is definitely to be considered before setting out at the moment!

Sadly the flamingo was not around today, but it raised a few smiles while it was here. There were however reports of the ruff still on Ibsley Water, as well as a black necked grebe and many warblers in the reeds/willows between Lapwing and Goosander Hides. Three black terns were also over Ibsley Water for most of the day.

Kingfishers continue to be seen regularly around the reserve, but particularly from Ivy North and South Hides. One bird was posing "picture perfectly" in front of Ivy North when I opened up; periodically plunging for small fish and invertebrates before returning to the same reedmace perch. With birds like kingfishers around who needs flamingos!

Friday, 16 September 2011


Bird News: Ibsley Water - ringed plover 2 juvs., ruff 1 juv. and a greater flamingo which flew in at about 07:50 from the north-east, it has a blue ring on the right leg.
Ivy Lake - Cetti's warbler 1 singing.
General - a passage of swallows, house martins, sand martins, siskin and meadow pipit flying south or south west in small numbers through much of the morning.
The moth trap was quite busy although contained no surprises, 2 pink-barred sallow looked very fine though.
The volunteers were in again today and the willow clearance is going very well. Below are the before and after shots of the last couple of days work.
Unfortunately the shaddow conceals some of the effect.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Bird and Bees (and Moths)

Bird News: Ibsley Water - ruff 1 juvenile, dunlin 2, ringed plover 2 juveniles, yellow wagtail 1 or more calling near the Tern hide, wheatear 2 (1 an adult male)
Ivy Lake - green sandpiper 2, Cetti's warbler 1 singing.
The moth trap had rather few moths this morning, but then it was the first really autumnal morning, dawning misty after a calm and very cool night. The few moths that there were included several very fresh and fine specimens including a sallow.
There were several frosted orange, all very fresh.
Other moths included a single migrant rusty-dotted pearl, large and lesser yellow underwing, flounced rustic, square-spot rustic and 2 brindled green, my first of the year.
It was volunteer Thursday and we were cutting willows again on the shore of Ivy Lake, as we will be again tomorrow. Later in the day I was on the south shore of the lake and took a look at the vegetated rafts we set afloat in the spring, some of the me have done pretty well.
I had lunch in the Tern hide where I eventually saw the waders listed above. I also heard a yellow wagtail, the first of the autumn, but typically I could not see it. A very noticeable thing today was the almost complete absence of martins, perhaps fifty each and a few swallows, a big change from the thousands of recent days.
At the end of the day I had a car left in the car park as I locked up, I waited around and was just about to lock up when the owner returned. I did take a look at the sandy bank on the lichen heath as I waited and found loads of small bees going in and out of holes and mating in the evening sun. I think they are Colletes succinctus.
I'm not sure this one is accepting visitors.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Going for Gold

This morning I lead a walk with the aim of finding fifty species of birds and hopefully having them seen by my fellow walkers. We were out for just over two hours and found just over fifty species, although some were only heard. Anyway the birds were roughly as follows:
From the Tern hide: black-headed gull - several, little grebe - one very close to the hide and others further out, cormorant - 50+ on the islands, mute swan - 50+ on the lake, house martin - 100s high over the trees, swift - 1 seen only by me unfortunately, stock dove - 1 flew down the lake and missed by some, coot - 500+ on the lake, Egyptian goose - 2 on the lake, tufted duck, great crested grebe, jackdaw - a few flying over, dunlin - 2 distantly through the telescope, swallow - 1 over, sand martin - 100s over the lake, chiffchaff a few on the banks of the car park, blackbird and robin in the car park. 18 species so far.
On the walk to the Lapwing hide: goldcrest - a few heard and one or two seen, blue tit- several, treecreeper - one in a sycamore along the Dockens Water path, wren - singing along the path, not seen, nuthatch - 2 chasing each other in the trees, jay - several noisily calling and seen briefly, green woodpecker - calling, also seen later, long-tailed tit - several at the turn to the Goosander hide, great tit - in the same flock as the long-tails, grey heron - 2 flying over as we approached the Lapwing hide, buzzard - 1 flying as we go to the Goosander hide, moorhen - 2 on the pond just behind the Lapwing hide, little egret - 1 on the same pond as the moorhens. 13 more species makes 31 species so far.
From the Lapwing hide: mallard - a few on the bank, greylag goose - 3 on the grass south of the hide, lesser black-backed gull - 1 on the shore in front of the hide, pochard - 2 diving with coot, wigeon - 9 way off across the lake, herring gull - 3 young ones on the middle of the lake, carrion crow - 1 landed on the shore by the hide. Another 7 species make 38.
We then walked to the Ivy North hide and on the way saw: coal tit - in the small pines near the car park, woodpigeon - over the lichen heath and hobby - 1 low over our heads just by the hide. Making 41 species in all.
From the Ivy North hide: green sandpiper - 3 just below the hide on the mud, shoveler - 3 feeding in the lake, gadwall - a few pairs on the lake, teal - 1 on the gravel bank east of the hide, magpie - 2 on the shore, Cetti's warbler - 1 called right beside the hide, but we could not see it. Up to 47 species now.
Heading back to the Centre we found: song thrush - 1 calling, but not seen, chaffinch - several on the feeders, greenfinch - a few on the feeders and collared dove - 3 on the feeders. Making a grand total of 51 species.
There were several other species about today which we missed on the walk, these included: kingfisher - from Ivy South hide, pied wagtail - all over the place, I don't know how we missed them! ringed plover - 1 juvenile on Ibsley Water first thing, Arctic tern - 1 juvenile before and after the walk but not on it, lapwing - a few on Ibsley Water, kestrel - 1 male over Ibsley, great spotted woodpecker - several, actually we did hear them on the walk, tree pipit - 1 flew over calling, great black-backed gull - 1 adult on Ibsley Water, dunnock - a few around the Centre and Woodland hide, blackcap - 1 near the Ivy North hide.

Monday, 12 September 2011

More Martins

Bird News: Ibsley Water - sand martin 3000+, house martin 500-1000, swift 1, arctic tern 1 juv.
Ivy Lake - green sandpiper 4.
Centre - hobby 1
I did not see much today as I was chasing around for much of it. I have a contractor doing a bit of reprofiling on the shore of Ibsley Water, which so far seems to be going well. We should end up with a couple of extra islands and some more shallow water habitat. Hopefully we will also be able to get some work done over on Ivy Lake as well.
In the afternoon I finally got over to see the ponies on Mockbeggar Lake for the first time in a while, thankfully they were all fine, although I will probably move them again soon. I was on Mockbeggar for a visit by possibly funders for a project on the WWII heritage of the New Forest, if all goes well it will include a restoration of the old control tower. This building has historical interest and houses a bat roost, but it has also had a history of vandalism and general decay so to see it restored would be a great relief to all concerned. I really hope this proposal goes well as there is a great story to be told. Whilst there I heard ravens flying over, my first for a couple of weeks, I was also pretty sure I heard yellow wagtail, but could not be certain.
I should have some more news tomorrow as I am leading a walk in the morning so I should get a look around the reserve.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Knot Makes Swift Return, with Breadmaking

Bird News: Ibsley Water - about 3000 martins, mainly sand martins over the lake and house martins over the trees, 1 swift, 3 dunlin, 1 knot, 1 ringed plover sp (too far to be sure), 1 hobby.
Ivy Lake - great white egret (the usual colour-ringed bird), 1 Cetti's warbler.
We were busy pretty much all day with a group of visitors from National Parks around the country. They were all volunteers from a project called MOSAIC which aims to encourage access to the countryside and especially National Parks by people who do not usually visit. We did a short walk, pond-dipping, looked through the moth trap and finished up with fire lighting and "bread" making. Actually some of the bread was really good, especially the bits flavoured with blackberries.
Hopefully they all saw something in the work we do at Blashford that they could take home, even if Blashford is not quite as challenging as the high Peaks or Northumbrian Fells. As they were cooking I found the robber-fly below resting on the upturned wheel barrow, that is why the background is such a fierce yellow.
Birds today were just at the start and finish of the day for me. The martins were again over Iblsey Water and as I locked up I once again found a single swift. Reported were 3 dunlin and a knot, I assume this is one of the two that were about for several days last week. I also spotted a single juvenile "ringed" plover, it was right up at the north end of the lake seen from the Tern hide, it was moving like a little ringed plover, but I could not say for sure. Also as we locked up the great white egret was on Ivy Lake, this was the first time I had seen it since it first returned in July! A singing Cetti's warbler in the Ivy silt pond completed the day, although this bird was there yesterday, but I forgot to include it in the blog.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Arctic Terns

Bird News: Ibsley Water - c1000 sand martin, 4 dunlin, 1 green sandpiper, 5 arctic tern
Ivy Lake - 2 green sandpiper.
On both of the last two mornings the ringers have been in and caught a lot of birds. Yesterday 110 mixed sand and house martins were caught and this morning more martins and the fourth sparrowhawk of the year, an adult female pictured by Kevin Sayer.
The moth trap was quite well filled although the only new for the year moth was a centre-barred sallow, a real autumn species.
The birds of the day for me were the 5 arctic tern over the south-west corner of Ibsley Water, I don't see them that often and this group, all adults, consisted of birds in a range of plumage from full summer to almost full winter plumage. They are much more elegant in flight than common terns, a result of the different proportions of their wings, which are much longer in the primaries. The 4 dunlin were new and I could find no sign of the knot or ringed plovers, both of which had been around for some time.
Later we were working around the shore of Ivy Lake, opening up the views from the Ivy South hide where two hobbies went over, calling loudly. The other notable wildlife we saw were several water scorpions in the lake, I did try a picture but it was too dark.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Long Overdue Reserve First (for me at least)

Bird News: Ibsley Water - 1 swift, 1 osprey, 1 goshawk, 4+ wigeon, 3000-5000 sand martin, c1000 house martin, 1 wheatear.
Ivy Lake - 3 green sandpiper.
At least in the morning there were many thousands of sand martin over Ibsley Water and hundreds of house martin over the trees to the east. A lot of the sand martin were at times perched on the ground on the long shingle spit to the east of the Tern hide, I got a poor picture, but something of the numbers is clear even if the birds are not.
The moth trap was relatively quiet but the sun came out and there was the first common emerald damselfly of the year at the Centre pond and a fine male southern hawker dragonfly.
It was volunteer day today and we made further good progress clearing the north shore of Ivy Lake, the two shots are "before",
and after the day's work.
I had lunch int he Tern hide and was rewarded with an osprey which drifted down from the north, it was probably an adult, certainly it was not a juvenile. Very soon after I found the swift drifting about high over the lake. Then, perhaps best of all, a juvenile male goshawk flew west over the north of the lake, on the way narrowly missed catching a collared dove, my first goshawk at the reserve and long overdue.