Saturday, 18 May 2013

One good tern deserves another

A couple of nice finds this week (omitting the near resident ring necked duck seen daily on D res or Watton NR - most recent pictures on Dave Ware's Wolds Birdlife page); black tern on Wednesday was a nice seasonal visit.  We usually reckon on a visit by these continental breeding terns on their migration on at least one occasion a year - thanks to Roy L for this one (tern bottom nearly obscured by swifts!):
The volunteers have also been doing some excellent work.  As we have drained the southern marshes this year the terns have been rehoused to Watton Nature Reserve, unfortunately their rafts there were rapidly colonised by black headed gulls.  However a pair of rafts which were formerly on High Eske but could not be maintained there were kindly brought up by Richard Sears last week - photo by Erich Hediger:
The team then transferred them to the tractor trailer - chief lasher Mike at work:
The overseer at work!:
And the finished result - common terns were on the raft within the hour and seem to be settling well:
The other main highlight was picked out by Martin this evening - a pair of temminck's stints on Watton NR at 5:40pm - a 'record shot' here:
A few waders in the week, whimbrel on Friday heading north, greenshank on South Marsh East Thursday to today, redshank by Andy Marshall on Thursday night:
There today were 3 1st summer little gulls which have been round most of the week:
Willow warbler near the back to back hides tonight:
 With bullfinches:
Stay a bit later and you may be rewarded; otter by Andy at last light carrying bedding material - possibly to a nearby holt we built a couple of years ago:
Foxes on the go too - check out Tony's blog for some great new pics.  Remember to be about on site after 6pm you need to be a member - but there were a pair of otters showing on North Marsh at 10am last Saturday.  At the other end of the spectrum your more likely to find something new looking in the undergrowth.  Thanks to Doug Fairweather for this new addition - water ladybird - the first recorded on site ever:
More details on Martin's blog with a nice array of hoverflies - no doubt details of the new micro moth sp to follow too and pale prominent pictures - an uncommon addition to the Moth list for the first time in a few years.  Martin also witnessed an impressive sight on Wednesday - the osprey which was still around today attempting to catch a hare on Decoy Fields, whilst in the foreground a swift was caught by the now proficient sparrowhawk.  Still plenty to go at though - 1000's on the reservoir daily thanks to Roy L for this:
Insect supply is still low in the wider environment but there's always plenty to be found over the reservoirs - if only moths were as plentiful as midges in the traps - a typical catch.  A lifetime's work to identify the contents of this alone no doubt - so much to look at if you delve into it:
The ringing team under Graham Scott have again restarted for season.  Interestingly these two blackbirds were re-caught last week.  They were both rung as adults in the scrub way back in 2010 - making them at least 4 years old and more than likely still a pair as caught just a couple of feet apart:
Inspecting more breeding birds we took the opportunity to explore Hempholme Meadows yesterday which unearthed the first blue tailed damselfly of the year.  Anyone who wants to learn more about odonata identification and distribution on the reserve and locality is well advised to order a copy of this new book by Paul Ashton - a long term member of the reserve and British Dragonfly Society recorder for this area:
The book is priced at £24.95 postage free for a limited period only direct from Paul - all the details here.  Highly recommended...

The Meadows have been colonised by lady's smock now - in amongst a range of other exciting shoots to study as summer goes on:
Including meadow foxtail - one of our Higher Level Stewardship target species and a natural relic from the seedbank - we may try and harvest seed to propagate plugs from this later on:
All good fodder for at least 3 water vole territories as evidenced by nibblings around the ditches:
Evidence too of otter prints - picked out by Chris Earl:
And a few sprainting sites:
And kingfisher by Roy L:
Which brings us on to this finale.  How did this occur? My theory is the stickleback jumped clear of a perch or pike and became impaled on this overhanging branch - what a way to go...