Very much quieter here on the visitor front today – although in the end it’s been a pretty nice day, the forecast was a bit grim and I suspect put some people off coming today.
Not put off were the “ten young mums” (some of whom are pictured – impossible to get everyone in the same picture at the same time!) in the title of this blog entry who braved the overcast conditions and threatening skies to join our volunteer “Blashford Buggies” walk leader Jenny with their babies and toddlers for what turned out to be a nice little walk around the reserve. They even stayed dry, at least until they reached the river towards the end of the walk, after which it is probably true to say that there were a few wet feet and trousers! Meeting at the centre fortnightly for a short walk from 10.30am-12pm, the next walk will meet on 20th September. For more information conatact Michelle (firstname.lastname@example.org ring 01425 472760).
As for the two “old ladies” the first old lady is this one:
Yes, not an old lady at all, but actually a moth called the old lady. Found it in the donation box in the Tern Hide! Not sure whether it found its own way in through the “slot” and then got too hot/dehydrated, or whether someone found it elsewhere and kindly “donated” it for me to see. It was actually in rather better shape than this (though still dead!) when I found it, but it did not fare well clutched (gently!) in my hand as I cycled back up to the centre to the camera.
And the second old lady? Actually a beautifully marked and very large adder on the “back track” between Lapwing and Goosander Hide, it was laid with just its back-end and tail out across the path in the coolest, shadiest section of the route (I was on my way back and having looked in all the obvious sunny basking spots had given up on seeing one!). Didn’t have the camera unfortunately (reminiscent of Adams blog yesterday there!), so no picture, but she was LARGE, at at least 2 1/2 foot long, so definitely an adder of maturer years (and sexed as a female by her bronze colouring as opposed to the silver of a male).
As far as I am aware osprey have been absent today, but there have been good views of kingfisher on Ivy Silt Pond, Ivy Lake (north and south hides) and I saw another “hover fishing” on Ibsley Silt Pond by Lapwing Hide this afternoon too. A lovely male bullfinch on the car park feeder was another highlight from this morning too.