I was really pleased to see 3 lapwing chicks right in front of the Tern hide yesterday morning, looking very healthy and not far off full grown. It has made all the hard work put in by the volunteers weeding the lake shore line last autumn, to keep the area suitable for lapwing, very worth while.
Outside the hide biting stonecrop provided a bit of colour. The name apparently comes from the plants peppery taste and that it grows on very thin soils if not bare rock or in this case a concrete car park.
Many birds on the reserve now have young, including little grebes and great-crested grebes on the silt pond by Lapwing Hide. The great-crested grebes have 3 small chicks, in the afternoon yesterday I saw one parent grebe carrying all 3 chicks on it’s back from the silt pond viewing screen. It even dived under water and caught a small fish with the chicks on it’s back and surfaced with them still in place. Only one small black and white chick is visible in the photo below, the other 2 were very well tucked in.
The moth trap today, provided some interest, only 16 species of moth but quality came in the form of a scarce merveille du jour. A lichen imitating moth, with a french naming translating to marvel of the day.
We also had a small moth called a Chinese character, the name comes from markings on the wings said to bare a remsemblance to Chinese letters. The moth actually imitates bird droppings to disguise itself from avian predators, I definitely think it looks more like bird droppings than a Chinese letter!
Bob Chapman came over today and found a rare soldier fly, Odontomyia ornata, nectaring on hemlock water dropwort by the education centre dipping pond. It has only been seen the reserve a few times before, all in 2009, indeed Blashford Lakes is the only site in Hampshire it has ever been recorded, although I doubt many people are looking for it!