Arrival of Summer Visitors

The first courageous sand martins have arrived! 14 sand martins were seen over Ibsley Water on Sunday.  Sand martins are one of the first summer visitors to arrive back after their long migration from their wintering grounds in sub-Saharan Africa! By the time Monday arrived I’m sure they regretted their prompt arrival as we woke up to a sprinkling of snow followed by freezing high winds that swept across the water creating blizzard like conditions! A group of bird watchers visiting on Sunday also enjoyed views of a very showy stonechat on the brambles in front of Lapwing hide and a chiffchaff in the scrub to the right of the hide between the two lakes.

Bob popped in on Monday with some post and we watched ‘Teal Cam’ in the lobby, watching them do their crazy display; flicking their tails up and then body rippling out of the water. We remembered the camera had a microphone on it and so, after turning up the volume,  we enjoyed the joyful whistles of the teal from the warmth of the Centre! Bob then braved the Tern Hide where he recorded 12 goldeneye and saw 2 golden plovers flying north.

On Tuesday the temperature had dropped and so had the teals’ enthusiasm on teal cam as they sat perched on an ice sheet drifting across the lake in the wind.

Teal Cam

Teal Cam

I’m always fascinated by swans feeding; as they spend the whole time with their heads underwater reaching down into the water to eat the weed they are our very own lake giraffes! It was a challenge to time the photo right for they only came up for air for a few seconds before heading back under.

Swan Lake

Swan Lake

The niger feeders are still hosting the full set of redpoll, siskin and goldfinch.

The full set!

The full set!

Not forgetting the brambling!

Female brambling and chaffinch

Female brambling (left) and male chaffinch (right)

And at least one bittern has still been showing over the last few days too. There are also still impressive numbers of shoveler over on Iblsey.

At the weekend both frogs and toads were seen mating in the flood water of the alder carr woods by the Woodland Hide. Gary took these fantastic shots capturing the moment! The male certainly has a good grip on the female as they crawl around looking for the perfect place. Thanks to Gary Prescott for sharing these photos with us!

Toads

Toads by G Prescott

Toads by G. Prescott

Toads by G. Prescott

Toads by G. Prescott

Toads by G. Prescott

Toads by G. Prescott

Toads by G. Prescott

And a frog…..

Frog by G. Prescott

Frog by G. Prescott

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