Today was the shortest and probably darkest day of the year. It was not as wet as yesterday, but was undoubtedly greyer and it was really dark by 16:30. By contrast yesterday, started and ended well. The panorama of Ivy Lake below was taken just after sunrise.
In the early morning there were shafts of sunlight brightening the reserve and it was very pleasant to be out and about.
The recent rain has made the moss especially bright, no doubt helped by the continued unseasonal warmth. The spore capsules on their long stalks are now well developed.
During the day we had to go over to the Goosander hide and from there saw the Slavonian grebe, presumably the one that was on Rockford Lake until recently. I managed to get this “stunning shot” of it.
In fact you get a poor shot of three species for the price of one here, with, form left to right, goldeneye, coot and the Slavonian grebe. The grebe was again present today as were the two black-necked grebe, along with the usual great crested and little grebe, four species of grebe on one lake, nit bad.
Other birds over the last couple of days have included about 250 black-tailed godwit and 14 pintail on Ibsley Water and the bittern on Ivy Lake. At the Woodland hide several brambling and lesser redpoll have been seen.
Despite the dull day our Tuesday volunteer group achieved a lot today, sorting some of the cut timber resulting from clearance under the power lines through the reserve. We now have a good supply of perches, posts and poles.
I will end with a picture from the end of the day yesterday, also of Ivy Lake from the same location as the panorama at the top of this post.