Monday, 7 June 2010

Join the cub

Things have started to steady off now migration wise and dragonflies and damselflies are all the rage - one four spotted chaser pic here but rather than double up have a look at Martin's blog for a full round up of the ever expanding array of invertebrate life on the reserve. Part of the marathon moth trap emptying revealed this eyed hawkmoth with alder moth last recorded in 1996 being the best.

There is still some bird action - the terns seen apparently displaying in the last post have come good with a reported 6 pairs sitting along with 6 chicks now on show. We can happily reveal that the little ringed plovers have bred on site and on saturday the chicks were deemed sufficiently large by their parents to come down to the water's edge for the first time. There are many fledglings now about with this young blue tit seen the other day and three buzzards over north marsh perhaps indicating success too.

Annual breeding bird survey work on Sunday also turned up a feeding grey heron, reed bunting, treecreeper and garden warbler. A put-out hobby was sat waiting out the drizzle on the pylons at Watton, and the red-crested pochard has been elusive but present all week on South Marsh East along with occasional single little gulls and turtle doves calling in South Scrub and on the wires at Watton. Many requests to see kingfishers on the reserve probably reflect the current status of the bird - we only have occasional glimpses now with the best bet being to stake out Barmston Drain. They certainly have nothing like the presence they had before December and indeed the word is they are scarce in the county as a whole after the harsh winter.

Animal wise a grass snake was managed on just about every hay pile round O res on Friday morning, the water voles on North Marsh have been seen regularly under the hide. This hedgehog was in the car park on Saturday.

At least two stoat families are on site with the centre family still dragging prey around the car park and on O res around South Marsh West another family was seen moving their young about to under the 'L' shaped hide. An otter spraint was found on the Southern site showing there is still some otter activity after the two unfortunate deaths in illegal eel nets 3 miles down river last week. Finally an unexpected find was this fox family on site caught quite by accident on our trail camera this week - hopefully we will keep you updated with footage now we know they are there (and no there are no 'black' ones a la springwatch!)