Bird News: Ibsley Water – little gull 2 adults, Egyptian goose 2, goosander 15+, redshank 4, oystercatcher 2. Ivy Lake – water rail 2, Cetti’s warbler 1. Woodland – chiffchaff 3+, blackcap 1.
I was not at Blashford yesterday, so the one hour advantage that the clock changes give had not kicked in until today. So the new day dawned, bright, cool and an hour earlier, but in fact it was an almost exact copy of yesterday. After the chilly start things soon warmed up to late May in March. Over Ibsley Water the 3 little gulls from yesterday remained, all adults, although as yet without their black heads, but still a wonderful sight. The contrast of the pale grey upper-wing with the charcoal grey underwing, combined with a buoyant, fluttering flight is a winning combination, one of my favourite birds. There were also certainly two pairs of redshank and at least 8 lapwing territories.
From the Ivy North hide the fluffy reedmace seed heads were the main attraction with several reed buntings and a pair of great tits pulling them apart for the seeds.
We seem to have at least three pairs of reed buntings setting up territories on the northern shore of Ivy Lake this year and I suspect there will be one on the southern shore as well.
The great tits quite regularly feed on the reedmace seed heads as do blue tits, with the feeders at the Woodland hide not far away this seems surprising, but presumably the rewards are worth it.
The moth trap was pretty busy considering the night was quiet cold, no great surprises , but a good catch in terms of numbers. The main species were small Quaker, common Quaker, twin spot Quaker and Hebrew character. There were also several clouded drab in various shades, including the very fine one below.
The rest of my day was spent fixing some fencing beside Mockbeggar Lake and then off site at the Trust office for a meeting. I did have my lunch beside the Centre before I left though and the butterflies were out in force. Peacock, brimstone and comma have been around for a while, but I did see my, and I think the reserve’s first green-veined white of the season.