A Dark Surprise

Bird News: Ibsley Waterblack-necked grebe 1, dunlin 1, lapwing 350, goosander 25, green sandpiper 1.                         Ivy Lakebittern 1, chiffchaff 1, yellow-legged gull 1.

A fine, warm day, as is only fitting as it was Volunteer Thursday. Nineteen people turned out and we worked around the Woodland hide  doing clearance and generally tidying up for the winter, if we get good flocks of finches it should now be possible to see them well. The pond was cleared and the rainwater collector  fixed.

Volunteers working at Woodland hide

This task actually only involved just over half the team , the rest were digging in the cables for a new camera we are putting in.

Volunteers digging in camera cables

I think next week’s task will be to clean out and refill the sand martin holes in the bank at the Goosander hide. One thing is for sure my plan to do any more work at the Ivy North hide are at and end, now that there is a bittern in residence.

The continuing mild weather means there are still a good few moths on the wing, including a couple of surprises this morning. These were a scarce umber, which is typical of this time of year but not a species I see every year.

scarce umber

More unusual was a dark arches, a moth I see lots of every year, but I don’t think I have ever seen one in November before and this was a very fresh one so recently emerged, not an old worn left over from late summer.

dark arches

I had left the reserve before the bittern was reported, although I had a good look this morning as I knew that several have turned up around the south of England in the last week or so. They are now doing well as a breeding species in Britain so perhaps we will see them more and more on the coming years. I did see a few birds today though, on Ibsley Water a green sandpiper was on the north shore and a single dunlin flew around with the now quite large flock of lapwing. I was in the Goosander hide briefly in the afternoon, checking on the sand supplies for the martin bank and saw at least 25 goosander resting on the opposite bank. The black-necked grebe was again near the northern shore of the lake in the morning.

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