Return of the GWE

The great white egret turned up Ivy lake on Wednesday at about 5pm, it was right in front of Ivy north hide but unfortunately by the time I had returned with a camera it had moved behind the reeds. It was also present on Thursday morning, but hasn’t been seen since as far I am aware. A little wader migration has occurred  with common sandpiper, green sandpiper and a few dunlin all putting in an appearance on Ibsley water. Two ravens, grey wagtail and ruddy duck have also been seen today on the reserve.

This morning we carried out a mothing event has part of the national moth night events over the weekend. Tiger moths were the target this species this year and thankfully we did manage to catch a garden tiger moth. However the catch was quite low in numbers perhaps because of the rain during the night. We did catch a few interesting species including burnished brass, sallow kitten, canary-shouldered thorn and poplar hawk-moth.  For more information on national moth night see here: www.mothnight.info

Earlier in the week this absolute brute of a long-horned beetle turned up in the moth trap, Prionus coriarius, a local species with it’s stronghold in the New Forest so perhaps not totally unexpected at Blashford Lakes.

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 Prionus coriarius

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The moth trap literally crawling with micro moths. No we didn’t identify them all!

The buddleia and purple loosestrife by the pond at the back of the centre is currently heaving with nectaring butterflies. So far we have recorded 11 species: small white, large white, green-veined white, red admiral, peacock, painted lady, small tortoiseshell, brimstone, small copper, silver-washed fritillary and gatekeeper. Plus a few silver y moths and the large hoverfly  Volucella zonaria. If you see anything else please let us know! Hummingbird hawk-moth is surely on the cards but camberwell beauty or monarch butterfly would be nice!

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Red admiral

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Purple loosestrife full of white and brimstone butterflies

A survey of Grasshoppers on the lichen heath revealed plenty of meadow, field and best of all mottled grasshoppers. They proved very jumpy and difficult to photograph though.

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Female mottled grasshopper

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Male mottled grasshopper

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And their extremely brittle lichen heath home.

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The heather at the edge of the heath was buzzing with bees and hoverflies. Spot the gatekeeper butterfly.

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A shed grass snake skin in the long grass.

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