I was over at Blashford all day today and started with a walk out to the Goosander hide, it was a bit cold and there was light rain and perhaps this was why the sand martins seemed rather few. However on the way there I saw a patch of columbine near the path, this is a native plant, but these were garden escapes. In fact they are quiet common as escapes and are to be seen on roadsides all over the place. Unfortunately the garden forms are often doubles or pale colour varieties and they cross with wild plants diluting the “true” wild plant’s genes in the process.
In the same part of the reserve I was pleased to see that the seasonal ponds we put in a couple of years ago are holding water, admittedly with the weather we have had perhaps this is not a surprise, but still gratifying.
Up at the Lapwing hide I was impressed by the huge numbers of swift feeding over the lake, at least 550 by my estimate, forced to feed low over the water by the poor weather. If it continues they will delay or even fail to breed, so I hope things improve soon. I also saw the Egyptian geese that have taken up residence on the osprey pole, the male was stood up and while the female was sitting out of sight.
I was working in the office pretty much all day, but I did get out around lunchtime and found lots of damselflies resting up on the foliage.
I also caught the distinctive whiff of a stinkhorn fungus and quickly found two, of which this was the best.
The smell attracts insects, mainly flies, but in this case also a small click beetle.
I then realised there was something odd about the fly that at first I thought just was resting there.
It was dead and seemed to have been overwhelmed by some sort of fungus.