Bird News: Ibsley Water – common tern 7, common sandpiper 1+, goldeneye 2, little ringed plover 2+, house martin 2, swallow 2+, sand martin 40+. Lichen Heath – wheatear 2. Ivy Lake – willow warbler 2+, reed warbler 1.
Although there have been a few reports in recent days, I had not seen a common sandpiper this spring until the one on the shore outside the Tern hide this morning. There was also a pair of little ringed plover displaying and two pairs of lapwing both competing for the shingle area in front of the hide. The lapwing dispute got quite heated but when it quietened down the female of the resident pair settle to preen in the sunshine.
Crossing to Ivy Lake to open the hides I saw a female wheatear on the Lichen Heath, my first at Blashford this spring, it remained all day and when I went to lock up had been joined by a fine male. It was evident that there had been an arrival of migrants overnight as there were 2 or more willow warbler singing and int he Ivy Silt Pond a singing reed warbler, another first for the year.
The night had been quite cold so I was not expecting much from the moth trap and the catch was small, but included an angle shades.
It was a very fine morning and so we went for a short walk on the reserve before doing the work rota for the next few months. It was the first time I had seen the sand martins actually over the nesting bank this year, although there are still not many around, whilst at the Goosander hide we saw 7 common tern over Ibsley Water, although they seemed to have gone by the time I locked up so perhaps they were not our nesting birds. There was also a pair of goldeneye, seemingly the last ones left over from the winter. On the way back to the Centre we passed a male orange-tip, that for once was not resting with wings closed and I managed to get a picture that shows the “orange-tips”.
The woods on the reserve are very noisy with bird song just now. I was standing briefly just south of the Woodland hide on my way around to lock up at the end of the day and I could hear garden, reed and Cetti’s warblers, blackcap, wren, robin, song thrush and dunnock all at once.