Terns Make a Splash

Bird News: Ibsley WaterMediterranean gull 2, common sandpiper 1.

When I opened the Tern hide this morning a large group of gulls were gathered on the islands along the western side of the lake, mostly black-headed gulls but including a second summer Mediterranean gull, looking very smart indeed, as I watched it I noticed a second bird, this time an adult. The pair of oystercatchers were still feeding their juvenile but were trying to get it to fly after them, which it did not seem keen to do.

At the Ivy South hide two of the common tern chicks had flown from the rafts, but ditched in the lake, they were fluttering clear of the water from time to time so I expected they would be fine and take more care next time they exercised their wing muscles.

I was taking a guided walk this morning, as I went over to the start I spotted a fine musk thistle just in flower.

musk thistle

I also noticed a spider that had captured a male damselfly and was gradually dragging it into a retreat within a curled bramble leaf.

spider with damselfly

At lunchtime I ate outside the Centre and the sunshine brought out a few insects including a particularly distinctive sawfly species, these insects are generally difficult to identify but this one is an exception, it is the figwort sawfly.

figwort sawfly

We have been removing small plants of the caper spurge from around the Centre gravel as they attract the attention of children and the sap is poisonous, however we had been looking down too much as today I found this huge one sticking up out of one of the brambles behind the pond.

caper spurge

The day did not go as well as I had hoped, when I went to take the quad bike and trailer out I found the trailer had a flat tyre, when I went to remove it the wheel bearing came away in bits, two problems for the price of one. So instead I went to see how the Japanese knotweed I sprayed last year was doing, it has been knocked back, but remains alive and will need spraying again if we ever get a day when I can be sure it will not rain. I also checked the cherry laurel that we treated with “Ecoplugs” back in the winter these  had worked well with lots of the stumps dead and a few with just very poor growth, not bad as digging them out is not really an option in the way it is for rhododendron.

treated laurel stump

At the end of the day I was pleased to see from the Ivy South hide, that all the tern chicks were back on their rafts.

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