The summer is moving on and I am delighted to say that I have seen the first common tern chicks of the year, under a month from the day the rafts went out. They will usually lay three eggs on consecutive days and then incubate them for about 21 days. They have had 28 days since the rafts went out so they got down to nesting very quickly! Some have not yet hatched and the off-duty birds can still be seen taking it easy before the real work of feeding the chicks starts.
The black-headed gulls are much more advanced and a few chicks are flying now, with a lot more to come.
There have been a lot of mallard broods about for a while, but I saw my first brood of gadwall yesterday, although they were already fairly well grown. They breed much later than mallard and prefer a warm dry summer, so this should be a good year for them.
Grasses don’t get much attention, but Blashford does have a large population of one particularly distinctive species, the annual beard grass, it normally grows near the coast but finds conditions on the reserve quite suitable, despite being inland.