The first few brand new common blue butterflies can now be seen around the reserve, but there are still some species from 2010 too – this rather past its prime peacock was in south scrub warming its aged wings:
In a similar vein – our hide checks reveal that the north lagoon hide is also suffering from old age too. The supports under the structure are now becoming too rotted to safely keep it open and probably wouldn’t stand another purple heron! It is closed as of yesterday – but plans are already afoot to underpin it again with new supports so it should be in operation again later in the summer.
As a result I reluctantly have to cancel the water vole event for June as this was the most reliable viewing area. The winter increase in mink activity has resulted in the apparent loss of voles from under North Marsh hide. We have had no mink in the reserve as we are aware, but unfortunately John Wilkinson spotted another ‘big male’ on Watton on Monday – one to look for. A much cheerier sighting was that of a Kingfisher on Barmston Drain – so hopefully they will be back post breeding.
Other species logged this week include osprey, barn owls, 3 cuckoo and 3 hobby at the north end. A spoonbill made a welcome visit last Sunday – buzzing several but unfortunately never landing. Meanwhile this greenshank has been gracing Watton most of the week:
This male gadwall was taking time out on a sunny D res, the first brood has been reported elsewhere:
The common terns are still settling in – a few on South Marsh East:
And this one trying the new Watton rafts:
Mute swan 339 was again on South Marsh West - and top marks to anyone who can read the ID ring on one of the black-headed gulls nesting on SMW alo:
Mike Randall was in here last week – getting some great yellow wagtails though this movement has subsided a bit now – most regular are the residents on the approach road
Plenty of damsels like this large red – as ever Martin’s blog for all the news.
Another reminder the snake walk is on tomorrow morning 9am – still places available on 01377 270690, with this skin found yesterday:
And a big snake at North Marsh too:
Also tomorrow (Sunday) is the Reserve update talk in the centre at 2pm for all who are interested.