Friday, 26 August 2011

Every cloud has a black lining

Despite the terrible weather today – heavy cloud cover and rain often brings in good results. Regulars Ray and John yesterday managed to find a pair of black terns over the D res. Unfortunately no pics this time – the only I can find at the moment are from back in 2008 by Mike Randall here.

Another great result of the weather has been an influx of little gulls reported by John last night – 125 over D res. An excellent count which keeps our average on spec for the Wetland Bird Survey league tables.

Tonight saw neither – just a damp 350 swallows and a smattering of wagtails. Earlier in the week we saw a movement of yellows, along with a common tern passage – 8 last night over D res, including our two fledged chicks from South Marsh East. So as was hoped, that brings us up to 3 pairs fledging 6 young for 2011.

Black-necked grebe has still been seen most days this week and there have been a few more waders around too – up to three ruff present on South Marsh East / Watton NR, along with ringed plover, common sandpiper and upwards of 3 snipe daily. Snipe have been showing on North Marsh where regular contributor Mike Day got these great pics:

Likewise the ubiquitous kingfisher:

Tony too has been photographing them – pictures on his blog as ever. However as he tells us that he is running out of composition ops. it seems I’ll have to come up with something new…watch this space! Obviously Rory appreciates his assistance though – as per his kind words here.

Please note we may be undertaking some occasional management works on Thursdays or Sundays in coming weeks around North Marsh though. For one thing it needs painting as if the wasps continue chewing it at their present rate it will be a paper hide by next year!

Martin has a few more moth pics here – and also sent us these close-ups of one of the four spotted chaser nymphs found during last weekends pond dip during his valued assistance:

Finally thanks for ID help too from Richard K Broughton. You may remember Mike Day’s excellent ichneumon pic from two weeks back. Having looked at these we have found them very tricky in the past, but Richard used his contact Gavin Broad at the Natural History Musuem who has ID’d it as:

"Virgichneumon albilineatus, a nice big ichneumonid that attacks noctuid moth pupae. It’s seems to be very common.” So there you go – again thanks to both Richard and Gavin: