Monday Sun Day

To stay inside on a day like today would have been criminal so at lunchtime I headed out to Goosander Hide in the glorious sunshine with the air filled with bird song.  After reading Jim’s blog from Saturday I was inspired to do some foraging of my own and so tucked into a few fresh beech leaves and hawthorn leaves and finshed off my snack with some tasty garlic mustard! The celandine flowers had opened up in the sunshine and created a beautiful glowing yellow carpet along the edge of the Docken’s Water.

Docken's Water

Docken’s Water

At the entrance to the hide I spotted this adult alderfly bumbling along. I saw my first alderfly larvae in the pond last week. Alderfly spend a year or two in the water as a larvae before crawling up onto land and pupating in the soil. A few weeks later they emerge as an adult with the power of flight and live for just a few days.

Alderfly

Alderfly

The stinging nettles by the doorway to the hide are the first patch of stinging nettles I have noticed that have been nibbled. After carefully turning over a few leaves I identified the culprit – a green caterpillar (yet to be identified! Let me know if you know what it is.) It is always astounding to think that the stinging nettle supports over 40 different species of insect! Expect to see a lot more nibbled nettle leaves soon.

Caterpillar feeding on stinging nettle

Caterpillar feeding on stinging nettle

I could have sat in the Goosander Hide all day, it was so peaceful and there was blue as far as the eye could see! Some carp (seen at the bottom of the photo) were circling in the shallow waters enjoying the warmth of the sun. Sand martins chattered away on the wing as they flew over the water catching their lunch. A few tended to their nest holes however the wall remained quite quiet for the duration of my stay.

Ibsely Water from Goosander Hide

Ibsley Water from Goosander Hide

Back at the Centre a few people reported seeing bank voles in front of the Woodland Hide as well as a grass snake on the log pile to the right of the hide and a speckled wood butterfly to the left. Other butterflies seen today included peacock, orange tip and comma.

Finally please remember that the driveway to the  Education Centre is being re-surfaced from tomorrow through to Friday. This means that the two car-parks on the Education Centre side of the reserve will be closed.  Although there will be a (very) limited space for disabled parking  by the driveway to the water treatment plant, all other visitors should park by the Tern Hide – Thank You.

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