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.

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