One Wheel on my Wagon

Usually a warm night such as we had would have resulted in a bumper moth trap catch, a sit was the catch was good by this year’s standards, but not great. there were a few species that were new for the year including obscure wainscot and shoulder striped wainscot and a Pyralid moth Pempelia palumbella.

Pampelia palumbella

I have mentioned before that it is not only moths that get caught in the moth trap and one of the other things today was a horsefly, this one was one of the common species Tabanus bromius. All horseflies have patterned eyes, formed both by the colours and the different sizes of the eye facets.

Tabanus bromius

As it was Thursday the volunteers were out on the reserve today, this is not the best time of year in terms of the jobs that need doing, but despite this sixteen people turned out to pull ragwort along the shore of Ibsley Water. We did take a look at the sand martin bank on the way which is always good, not as busy as last year but still very good to watch. We did  find rather a lot of ragwort, but not nearly as much as last year. We did not get to clear the grassy spit of land between the Goosander and Lapwing hides as there was at least one lapwing chick there and we did not want to disturb it.

On our way back at the end of the task I noticed the annual beard grass int the area south of the Goosander hide was looking good. This grass is really a species of upper saltmarshes but somehow it got to Blashford and finds the poor silty soils, especially where they are wet in winter, very much suitable habitat.

annual beard grass

The plan was to go and ring some more black-headed gull chicks this evening, but before that could happen I had to fix the trailer wheel and bearing, luckily I had the parts and it proved an easy task. We went out to ring some chicks, but got only twelve. On my way back the bearing on the other trailer wheel failed! Luckily I had bought two, so it should be easy to sort it out, I guess they had both just reached the end of their working life.

There was rather little else to report, although at least two more common tern chicks had flown when I looked from the Ivy South hide this morning.