The day started well with a fanfare of song from a chiffchaff as we unlocked the gates to the Reserve. On the way round to open up the hides there were quite a few more chiffchaff and several blackcap, busy carving out territories with their song. Near the Ivy North Hide and again near the settlement pond Cetti’s warbler were chanting their piercing call. Also by the settlement pond a few trills coming from the direction of the reeded area at first sounded like a reed warbler, but after a break in song the next twitterings were almost certainly those of a sedge warbler. As is usually the case, getting sight of these birds is not so easy, even though the leaf cover is only just starting to appear, but I did manage to get a half-way reasonable image of a blackcap.
With the spell of warmer weather it’s about time for some of the invertebrate fauna to be putting in an appearance. With that in mind, Jim set up the light trap last night which managed to attract 27 moths of seven different species. Mostly Common Quaker (11) and Small Quaker (7) plus two Twin-spot Quaker there were also some nicely marked Hebrew Character (4) and single Oak Beauty, Engrailed and a pug species which after some argument we eventually decided must have been a Brindled Pug.
Such a relative abundance of insect life, compared with the last few attempts at moth trapping this year, herald the start of a proper spring period. Looking around elsewhere on the reserve it was appropriate to see, from the Tern Hide, a common tern hunting over Ibsley water (sorry no picture – much too distant and mobile). Another first for the year, and for me a real herald of Spring – this wheatear posing on the shingle out to the side of the Tern Hide.
if you get some cheap or reduced apples and place them into the branches of selected trees (push them onto the twiglets near the centre i can assure you the blackcap and other warbles will be on them in a flash i had 3 males and a female in the garden last week