Island fire and black necked grebe

A couple of weeks ago we headed out to the gull nesting island in the north-west corner of Ibsley Water and strimmed back the thick layer of nettles and had grown over the summer. We do this every autumn to provide a roosting area for wintering wildfowl and to ensure it is suitable for gulls to nest on the following spring. Yesterday I took the boat back over to the island with volunteer Geoff and Assistant education officer Michelle to burn up the vegetation on the island and cut down some willow trees around the island’s edges. It wasn’t a pleasant job with the smell of un-hatched eggs that we kept stepping on, dead chicks and a dead greylag goose that Michelle put on the bonfire!

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Geoff and bonfire

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Michelle, Geoff and smelly island

Osprey’s were seen on the reserve last Thursday, Friday and Saturday mainly over Ibsley Water, although it is unclear if it was same bird each day. Friday also saw the first black-necked grebe of autumn turn up and what I presume is the same bird was still there today. I managed to get this poor record shot of it from the Lapwing Hide when I went over to move the horses today. The only other oddities have been a yellow-legged gull and the regular great white egret.

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Black-necked grebe

Easier to photograph was this little grebe from the Tern Hide this morning. I think it is the first times I’ve ever seen ones legs.

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Little grebe  

The moth trap has seen a reduction in species and numbers but we did catch this nice herald moth and a speckled bush cricket.

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Speckled bush cricket

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P1000320 Herald moth

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