It was a beautiful sunny day on the reserve today with a few short, sharp showers in the afternoon. A steady trickle of visitors reported some of their fantastic wildlife encounters which included 3 kingfishers flying at the same time over Ivy Lake, a common sandpiper on Ibsley shore and a herd of fallow deer that were on the move up by Lapwing Hide where a buck was seen walking right past the hide.
Out came the sunshine and with it some of our last remaining butterflies and dragonflies which took to the air. These included sightings of speckled wood butterflies as well as a handful of darter and hawker dragonflies.
However the most exciting wildlife encounter took place yesterday at midday when an adult Franklin’s gull was seen from the Tern Hide hawking high over the trees along the A338 and beyond towards the river. It was last seen slightly south towards Ellingham church at around 1pm. The Franklin’s gull is a rare vagrant to northwest Europe as its normal migration route should take it from South Canada to its wintering ground on the west coast of South America. The bird takes its name from Sir John Franklin, an Arctic explorer who first identified the bird in the 1800s.
In other news for our visitors with buggies or mobility scooters please note that a delivery of wood is temporarily blocking the path to the kissing gate that takes you across Ellingham Drove to Goosander and Lapwing Hide. So for the time being I am afraid this gate will be inaccessible. Walkers on foot should be able to squeeze past. We hope this will be removed soon but in the mean time we apologise for any inconvenience caused.