Busy May and Mother Shipton

You may have guessed from the lack of blogging that we’ve been extremely busy this week, the education team with school groups and the reserve staff with guided walks, path maintenance and volunteer work parties on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Simon and his volunteers from the Trust’s Lower Test Marshes Reserve have been over  helping with fencing and replacing gates. The regular Thursday volunteer group has continued with litter clearance from the woodland by the old concrete block factory on the northern side of Ellingham Drove.


New gate post put in by the volunteers from the Lower Test Marshes

The only downside of all this work is that it leaves very little time to actually see let alone photograph wildlife.  However I was pleased to get six photos of my favourite day flying moth, the mother shipton, on the meadow by Ivy North Hide at 4.30 pm today. When I looked back the pictures only one was worth posting here. The unusual name of this moth comes from Old Mother Shipton, a 16th century Yorkshire witch, as the markings on it’s wings have been likened to a caricature of an old hag in profile, with a conspicuous eye and hooked nose! I’m not sure I see it…


Mother shipton moth, nectaring on a bugle flower

A large number of presumably migrant swifts, probably between 250-300 were present over Ibsley Water on Thursday evening, with smaller numbers today. 6 Dunlin, 3 little ringed plover and a ringed plover seen were close to the Tern Hide this afternoon. Ringed Plovers are slightly larger than little ringed plovers, have orange legs and and an orange and black beak.


Ringed plover, Tern Hide


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