Wednesday, 23 February 2011

And our poll says less

A quiet spell on the reserve of late as Martin will testify on his blog. We are at that time of year when what may arrive for the winter is now here, so it is just waiting for the first migrants to appear to bring something new.

The reliable birds include up to 14 brambling on the feeders and the willow tit now back in D woods again. A pair of amorous treecreepers have been seen by several observers showing hope for breeding this year. All pictures below courtesy of HVWG:

This mistle thrush was establishing itself in the treatment works compound again - again hopefully another good breeding year:

The two red-head smew have been regular on Watton NR, and a nice returnee is the drake pintail which has been seen pretty much everywhere on site. Around 5 goosander regularly roost on D res, and there are plenty of goldeneye:

The teal are looking good and doing their best to impress:

And there are usually a bunch of redshank on South Marsh East:

Nice news is the return of oystercatchers again to the Marsh:

This tell-tale artillery piece betrays the lesser spotted Tony McLean:

To see what he got from the 'other side' click here - including some x-rated oystercatcher pics and a full review of the new Watton Hide!

Lincoln RSPB visited on Sunday - with the highlight for most being 5 lesser redpoll on the alder trees of the Lagoons. We have had reports of 80 siskin on Monday which make up the bulk of the flock.

'Spring-watch' continues - one of the best signals is the flowering of coltsfoot on the reservoir ditches. Les Bardwell has been keeping tabs on its emergence for 20 years; Prior to last winter the plant had been progressively flowering earlier until it got to the point where it was appearing 3 weeks earlier than in 1990 with a succession of mild winters. Last winter it returned to its March flowering date and this winter we are a mere 2 weeks early (Library pic):

Another signature of Spring was found by Bernie from InFocus optics on Sunday - the first herald moth of the year (Pic from last year):

The practical team are doing their best to get the site sorted before the migrants return and the vegetation starts growing. Here Pete is helping construct a new otter holt before the brambles cover it:

Other reserve news includes the completion of the underpinning and maintenance work on South Marsh West hide, with the team moving onto D res North hide next. The path to Watton hide is now repaired so the access is closed off the drain bank again now.