We’ve not had much luck with the light trap this winter – when we’ve run it we’ve hit a cold snap and caught nothing, when we haven’t it’s been a mild night and we probably missed loads. However the new emergency/fire exit light above the centre entrance has been attracting night fliers this week – with Hebrew character and dotted border moths recorded there so far, so I thought it might be time to re-deploy the light trap. Unfortunately, as you may now have worked out from the title of this blog entry, I was unsuccessful again. Nothing in the trap, but three dotted borders around the emergency light!
The warmer weather this week has definitely got other insects on the wing too – I saw a red admiral and bumblebee yesterday and today there are even a few midges around. Another less welcome invertebrate that has made it’s presence felt (literally!) this week is the tick – brushed one off my leg on Wednesday and had to “extract” one from the other leg on Thursday night…
Adders continue to live up to last years expectations around Lapwing Hide too, the relatively mild (and this year dry!) winter, obviously having suited them well. One visitor delightedly reported having seen 6 yesterday. Today I managed 2, but neither were close enough to the path for me to get a picture without disturbing them, so you’ll just have to take my word for it! There will be plenty of small mammal prey around for them again this year too, so should be another good year for them.
In the woodland other signs of spring are revealing themselves – more wild daffodils in flower, the first bluebell leaves are emerging and this morning I saw my first lesser celandine of the year in flower – earlier on there were some that looked like they might be ready to burst, but an hour later, after some sun, they had opened up and were looking wonderful. The first coltsfoot are also in flower along the “inner” approach to the (still!) flooded path to Lapwing Hide.
On the bird front the lakes are looking very empty of wildfowl now, but the long tailed duck persists, generally on Rockford Lake, but often on Ivy Lake, viewable from Ivy South Hide. There has been no report of bittern since the one off sighting in the middle of the week and at the woodland hide siskin and lesser redpoll are either absent or very thin on the ground now too. The reed bunting are still visiting it regularly though, and the males are looking quite smart with their black hoods and bibs.
Three black necked grebe were seen from Tern Hide yesterday, and, keeping with the trio theme, three red kites spent some time over Ibsley Water today.