It has been a very busy week here at Blashford Lakes. The week started with Nature Tots, our monthly toddler group, who were finding out all about nests. We found a very upset Mrs Blackbird in Badger Wood, her nest had fallen out of the tree and she had lost all of her eggs. So the toddlers searched high and low to help her find them. We found 57 eggs!
On Tuesday and Wednesday we ran ‘Playdays’ our wildlife activity fun days that take place during school holidays. We made egg transporters made of recycled junk that had to carry an egg down the river.
We found stonefly nymphs, mayfly nymphs, freshwater shrimps, bullhead fish and most exciting of all a brook lamprey! A lamprey is a primitive fish-like animal, with an eel-shaped body, but it doesn’t have a jaw, instead it has a rasping circular mouth which some species use to suck onto other fish and rasp away at their flesh. Brook lamprey however spend most of their life buried in the sediment eating silt and dead organic matter. We caught an adult who had emerged from the mud to reproduce. In the photo below the brook lamprey is in the top right hand corner of the tank.
Bullhead are able to change colour to an extent to match the surrounding substrate. These bullhead show two variations in colour that they can achieve.
Today we ran an Easter Nature Trail which took families around the nature reserve following a trail to discover the spring wildlife. At the end they got a fair trade chocolatey treat! The families had a wonderful time and between them they saw 2 roe deer on the lichen heath, 2 blackcaps jostling outside the Ivy north hide, a great spotted woodpecker and nuthatch from the woodland hide and a kingfisher outside Ivy south hide! One of the challenges involved making an artist’s palette of all the different colours they could find which created some brilliant results!
The Easter Family Nature Trail is taking place again tomorrow – drop in to the Education Centre between 10am-2pm!