Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Marbellous day out

The weekend saw a great count of marbled white butterflies with around 40 recorded across the site. The hot-spot appears to be on North Scrub where I managed to get these snaps.

Also recorded at the weekend was a small heath butterfly – rarely recorded at the reserve and seen by two observers.
A muggy Friday night saw a colossal moth catch with the unfortunate Doug and Martin spending around 5 hours emptying the catch (no doubt updates on Martin’s blog if he has recovered!). They were still going strong on return from the monthly wildlife walk (turning up green sandpiper, little ringed plover, juvenile terns and many orchids) where the following were a small representation of the species present – Elephant hawkmoth:

Buff arches:

Light emerald and swallowtail moths:

Burnished brass:

If you would like to see more of the catch why not some to our butterfly and moth walk this Sunday? We will be emptying two traps and undertaking a walk of the hay meadow (and hoping for good weather!) for butterflies. The event is free with normal admission and starts at 10am at the wildlife centre and will last til lunchtime. Book in advance only on the reserve number – 01377 270690, or e-mail me at

Things are also moving on the bird front increasingly. The vanguard of green sandpipers has heralded a movement, combined with some teal and lapwing (below) flocks, and the first pair of snipe on South Marsh East on Monday.

However the first striking ‘autumn migrants’ arrived today in the form of 12 stunning looking black-tailed godwit – still resplendent in breeding colours:

Otherwise the grey heron was again on North Marsh (below) along with two kingfishers yielding some great photos for one observer (hopefully to follow). Tony McLean managed some more shots of the water voles on his blog here.

Spotted flycatchers have again been seen around the Treatment Works today and this black-headed gull thought the little-ringed plover would make a tasty snack – suffice to say it moved out the way pretty fast!

Another lapwing chick has been present on South Marsh East too, where this young oystercatcher was trying to work out why it’s parent wouldn’t shelter it from the rain anymore!

Finally the results for this quarter’s BTO Business Challenge have been rounded up and are on the page above – who’s going to get species 130 for the year?!