‘Summer is a coming in’

Well nearly – being greeted, on a warm sunny morning by a singing blackcap at the reserve entrance must surely be some indication.  A number of chiffchaff have been around for a least a week but the blackcap is, I believe, a first for the year.

Other birds of interest were three little gulls on Ibsley Water and a little ringed plover was seen , but at some distance, There are still a few waterfowl about including about half a dozen goosander, a number of tufted duck and gadwall.   A rather smart-looking pied wagtail was hunting along the edge of Ibsley Water, in front of the Tern Hide

For a simple black and white bird I think they are rather striking.  On a similar theme the lapwing that are starting to nest around the reserve are most elegant now in their smart plumage,  but which at distance looks to be simply black and white.  The name lapwing I believe derives from their somewhat languid flight style ( sometimes referred to as ‘flapwing’),  They have many other old ‘local’ names among which are peewit – which refers to their call and green plover as can be seen here.

Lapwing, peewit or green plover

Continuing the (largely) black and white theme,  the male scaup reported on yesterday’s posting attracted a steady stream of birders, but no one had reported seeing it, although many tried throughout the day.   Imagine our surprise then, when closing the Ivy South Hide, a casual glance round found the bird in much the same place as it had been reported yesterday, close to the peninsula to the left of the hide.

Male scaup (right) and tufted ducks (for comparison)

As I said earlier it was feeling definitely summery with the sunshine and many of the recent ‘old favourites’ have now largely departed – no sign of siskin or redpoll and the last bittern has almost certainly gone. It has, however, been replaced in front of the Ivy North Hide by a nesting pair of mute swan, the sitting bird was relieving the boredom of simply sitting by refurbishing the nest.

Nest maintenance - it's that time of year for D.I.Y.!

and occasionally standing back to admire her handiwork revealed the reason for all this activity…

Mute Swan and egg

Away from the birds there was a little more colour provided by the butterflies including Red Admiral, Peacock, Speckled Wood and Small Tortoiseshell, plus a male Brimstone which ‘buzzed’ past the centre whilst we were at lunch, but I’ll finish with one of the last things we saw of note, a picture of a Comma that came to a’ full stop’……….

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