Monday, 2 May 2011

Aquatic adventures

Highlights over the last weekend have included a drake garganey again on South Marsh East. An osprey called in on Friday afternoon – being chased off South Marsh East before appearing on Watton NR. Another hobby was sighted over the south end today, and at the northern end of the reserve we have had the first turtle dove of the year this morning.

Again more green sandpipers have been moving through, with commons on the walls. Earlier in the week John Leason discovered a blue-headed wagtail amongst the many yellows which have been moving through the site in recent days. The video here shows the general activity from last year:

No sooner had I invited the first swift for site than Pete Dove had already found the first pair that night, with an increasing flow ever since. By my reckoning the last one left is spotted flycatcher – hopefully they will make it back again this year – not always a certainty in recent times.

On the mustelid front a weasel was spotted moving its young about, and Rory proved you don’t need a BBC film crew on his site.

Tony too has returned from his holiday and back with the natives here.

The pond dipping activity turned up some impressive beasts. This is presumably a four spotted chaser exuviae from D woods pond:

Also I hope I am correct in saying this is the husk of one of the 305 large reds that Martin and Doug found on Saturday:

Martin has again been pushing records back – this time with variable damselfly. Have a look on his blog for the latest moth addition too. Other catches included mayfly nymphs:

A young newt:

A broad bodied chaser nymph waiting in the wings:

This damselfly nymph tucking into an unfortunate mosquito larvae:

An even more vicious looking diving beetle larvae:

And a pair of mating scorpion flies in the undergrowth:

David Ware was turning his camera towards some of the migrant warblers on Friday. The ringing team also managed a re-catch of a lesser whitethroat from last year today – a great start towards learning more about our trans-African species.

Further to the marsh frog interest of late Jeff Barker has some further pics on Flickr here, and Derrick Venus had kindly added further info on Marsh Frog in the Hull Valley onto the Hull Valley website.

Reserve walk this Saturday at 10am. Maurice’s photo class on Sunday – book in advance.