Bob and I were just discussing earlier in the week how late the great white egret was this year and musing as to whether or not it had fallen prey to old age at last, or whether, like seemingly everything else this year, it was just a bit behind and I can now confirm that, seemingly, it was just running a bit late as it, or at least a, great white egret was perched in a tree in front of Ivy South Hide for much of the day. Unfortunately its position amongst the branches made it impossible to see whether or not the bird had any colour rings on its legs, which the regular bird has, hence my reluctance to confirm that it is “the” great white egret that has been a regular visitor for some 9 years now, or another individual. Lovely to have one (it?) back though!
Generally speaking Ivy South Hide was where it was at again today – with two grass snakes basking in front of the hide, including this one who posed first thing as I opened up (there were two at or in the centre pond all day as well):
John Combes also e-mailed me a copy of one of his photo’s taken of the grass snake/toad encounter reported yesterday that somewhat surpasses my own:
Visitors to this hide were also treated to several views of kingfisher – mostly fly-bys, but some perching and fishing as well, as well as the always enchanting sight of great crested grebes transporting their three chicks on their backs (the pair nesting in front of the reed bed to the far left of the hide hatched eggs a few days ago). incidentally, for anyone who chanced upon the article about the Our Wetlands open weekend events in the Stour and Avon magazine today, the great crested grebes incorrectly captioned as great crested newts was a misprint by the paper, not an error on our part!
The light trap was fairly light on moths – though a poplar hawkmoth was appreciated by all who came to view it and I was quite taken by this unusual mayfly with a transparent abdomen:
Elsewhere on the reserve today I had a lovely view of a pair of grey wagtails perched on the car park gate to the main car park as I arrived and the ringers did well again at Goosander Hide – Kevin sent in the following report this afternoon:
An excellent day at The Goosander Hide resulted in a catch of 76 birds which included our first Tree Pipits of the year. Nothing too unexpected turned up but we did get good numbers of Phylloscopus warblers. We were royally entertained by a small group of Kingfishers continually catching small fry as well as a family party of Little Grebes (2 adults & 3 chicks) catching similar prey. The totals were:-
Tree Pipit 2
Garden Warbler 1
Willow Warbler 15
Sedge Warbler 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Song Thrush 1
Reed Warbler 2
Blue Tit 10
Long-tailed Tit 5
Great Tit 3
He also sent the following picture of the juvenile redstart that was yesterdays highlight. They will be returning tomorrow morning for what is likely to be the last session for a week or so.