Bit of a Blashford round-up

With a reduction in staff on top of a busy programme of activities and work programmes we’re struggling to keep on top of our regular posting, but we’ll continue to do our best!

As always many thanks to our visitors who have sent in their pictures and wildlife sightings.

The family of kingfishers outside Goosander Hide throughout July and August were once again probably the most  photographed birds outside of captivity in the south of England, with many photographers spending days if not weeks capturing their every moment! we’ve seen lots of great photographs but I thought this album by Stand and Dee Maddams was particularly worth sharing – and as the youngsters have now been chased off and kingfisher activity declined back down to normal, if you missed it this year you can enjoy a virtual summer in Goosander Hide by looking at these!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/91271610@N05/albums/72157654775577324

The Centre Buddleia has just about finished flowering, but it again attracted photographers with its display of butterflies late in August and early September – David Cuddon sent in this small tortoiseshell and thanks too to Geoff Miller for this hummingbird hawkmoth which was regular over a few days:

Small-tortoiseshell-by-David-Cuddon

Small-tortoiseshell-by-David-Cuddon

Hummingbird hawkmoth by Geoff Miller

Hummingbird hawkmoth by Geoff Miller

David also sent in this picture of the osprey that could be seen diligently ignoring both the artificial nesting platform and the new mid-lake perch for a few days!

Osprey by David Cuddon

Osprey by David Cuddon

Nothing nearly so exciting to report from today. There was a reasonable haul in the light trap of 9 species considering how relatively cold it was last night; what was particularly noticeable, and has been over the course of this week, is the number of yellow moths which of course will be so well camouflaged as summer continues to fade into autumn and the number of yellow leaves on the tree’s increases:

Canary shouldered thorn

Canary shouldered thorn

Pink barred sallow

Pink barred sallow

Sallow

Sallow

There was a number of brimstone (moths) too, but have lost that picture somewhere between the camera, the computer and the blog! There was a very autumnal feel to the reserve this morning with a slight mist over the water. Other signs of the season included a common sandpiper outside Tern Hide and at least 12 wigeon on Ivy Lake:

Ivy Lake - with at least 12 wigeon, honest!

Ivy Lake – with at least 12 wigeon, honest!

And of course the recent rain has also seen an emergence of a variety of fungi – regular John “6×4” was pleased to be able to tell us about the first earthstars of the year towards the beginning of the week and I was pleased to pay him back by pointing him in the direction of a rather splendid stinkhorn today:

Stinkhorn

Stinkhorn

Finally, visitors over the last fortnight can’t have failed to have noticed the burnt out van in the entrance to the main car park and the pile of tarmac dumped in the corner of the approach to the car park beyond the gate. The van is part of a police investigation into both the theft of the van and it’s use in a burglary and took place at night sometime, but the tarmac was obviously dumped in broad daylight after the gates had opened – if anyone did notice anything we would love to hear from you with anything we can pass onto the police!

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