Two tiny lapwing chicks appeared in front of Tern Hide on Monday morning and where still there yesterday morning, however the most vulnerable time in a lapwings life is the first couple of weeks, when the threat of predators and unfortunately the weather are greatest. The heavy down pours of yesterday and today definitely won’t have done the chicks any good, all we can do is hope that their parents have managed to give them some shelter. There is 5-6 pairs of lapwing breeding around the lake, aggressively diving at crows, gulls and anything else that comes too close, we’ve even seen them chasing off blackbirds and starlings, hopefully more chicks will appear soon.
After the thunderstorm yesterday around 250 swifts appeared over Ibsley Water, rain always seems to bring them to lakes, I can only guess that they manage to find insects over the water but I find it hard to believe insects can actually fly in a down pour like yesterday’s. Other birds around Ibsley Water at the moment include 2 male and 1 female little ringed plover, a few dunlin and a single barnacle goose, which I assume is feral, possibly from the Hampshire group that summers at Titchfield Haven and winters at Baffins pond in Portsmouth.
Ivy lake has 15 pairs of common terns, nesting on the rafts with 9 pairs on the southern most raft, plus a few pairs of black-headed gulls. The rafts still have a fair bit of space so hopefully a few more terns will arrive.
We’ve done a bit of work mowing paths in the sweep netting meadow by Ivy North Hide so visiting school groups can net for insects, it was nice to see lots of brown argus and common blue butterflies but again I doubt the weather has done them any good.
Thanks to all the volunteers that came out yesterday and helped with various tasks around the whole reserve, especially to Christine, Malcolm and Tony who did the unenviable job of weeding stinging nettles in front of the woodland hide in the rain and didn’t even complain!