I have been rather lax about posting recently, for which I apologise. We are now firmly into spring, chiffchaff are singing around the reserve and, rather later than usual, I have seen my first sand martin flock. The wild daffodil are dying off and the bluebell are now well up, although not in flower yet. Other spring flowers like lesser celandine and moschatel are out as are primrose and cowslip. One of the spring fungi that we sometimes miss, but I guess is always about at this time of year on the reserve if we can find it, is the false morel a couple of which have come up near Ivy North hide.
There are still a fair few scarlet elf-cup about but they will not last much longer.
We have been running the moth trap intermittently and most of the regular spring species have been recorded including Hebrew character, small Quaker, common Quaker, twin-spot Quaker, clouded drab, engrailed, oak beauty and shoulder stripe. The last is a common enough species generally but not one we see every year at Blashford.
A good few birds have started nesting, great crested grebe are displaying, blue tit building in the boxes and lapwing displaying. Some species start much earlier and the local raven pair have young to feed now and the adults have been visiting a deer carcass on the eastern shore of Ibsley Water regularly and heading back with crops full of food.
On the sunny days there are lots of insects about including lots of butterflies, we have had records of brimstone, red admiral, peacock, small tortoiseshell, comma and speckled wood. Lots of solitary bees have been gathering at the sand banks we cleared for them during the winter, it is always gratifying when work we do works out as we planned it. But the weather is unpredictable, although sometimes this brings its own attractions.