Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Something in the Water

Bird News: Ibsley Water - goldeneye 1, goosander 10.
Mockbeggar Lake - little egret 12, great white egret 1.
Ivy Lake - water rail 2.
The moth trap was quite busy this morning after a mild night, nothing new for the year, but a merveille du jour and a mottled umber were both good to see. The mottled umber is pictured below.
As well as the moths a single hoverfly was also in the trap, an Eristalis pertinax a species that will hibernate and fly again in the spring.
I had to go and look at the fence along the northern shore of Mockbeggar Lake in the morning as we are looking to replace the old fence, which has seen better days. Looking across the lake a group of egrets included the great white egret, I gave digi-binning a try and the result is below.
The sun was out for much of the time and I saw several insects including migrant hawker dragonfly, several red admirals and a late small copper. The copper was very worn, perhaps not surprising at this late date, but it did allow a picture.
Less surprising was a speckled wood, I usually see one or two in November and today was ideal for them. This too was a very worn individual.
Despite these reminders of summer there was no doubt that it is autumn, the light, the dampness in the air and even the smell of the day all spoke of autumn.
When I went to lock up the Tern hide, I had just sat down to have a quick last look, when all the birds from the eastern side of the lake suddenly dashed westwards, in flight or, in the case of the coots by pattering over the surface. At first I though there must have been someone on the bank near the Goosander hide, but looking that way I saw a buzzard perched in a tree, so not a person, but what? Then I noticed the gulls circling over the lake just out of sight to the east of the long shingle spit, there was obviously something in the water they did not like. My guess would be an otter, the reaction of the birds was typical and although it did not come into view I am pretty sure that if I had been int he Goosander hide that is what I would have seen.

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