Thursday, 10 May 2012

Lam'in season

Whilst we may have moved on from Blenheims, birds still don’t take centre stage.  Yesterday this creature from the deep put in an appearance:
Initial thoughts were an eel until we saw this distinctive fin:
It turns out this is a lamprey – possibly one of the first seen in the reserve.  We think this is likely to be a brook lamprey – but quite what it was doing in a 20ft square pond we are unsure as they are supposed to be migratory.  This link tells you all about their weird and wonderful lives.  Apparently this is the peak time to see them with the YWT guys reporting many upstream in West Beck.
A year first at any rate was little gull today found by HVWG.  Also on South Marsh East were the avocets – all four present with the usual show downs with the gulls:
Over Hempholme today was this passing red kite which disappeared way off West:
And yesterday was a glimpse of one of the first hobbys of the year - Denice Coverdale and Richard Baines finding the first last week:
Michael Flowers has the full low down on the birds of this newly explored area on his blog here.  Of particular note was the continued presence of a short eared owl still there this morning.
Common sandpipers are regularly on the reservoir walls:
By Brian Spence here:
The walls are also a good bet at the moment for resting swallows:
House martins:
And increasing numbers of yellow wagtails:
In the limited sun a few butterflies were out – orange tips staying static for once:
Also by Brian:
Brimstone (BS):
Linnet (BS):

And grass snake (BS):
Thanks to Tony Simpson for these great shots of water vole under North Lagoon hide – hopefully we are free of mink at the moment: