Today was my turn to visit the reserve as part of the ongoing rota between myself, Andrew and Jamie to check on the security of the visitor centre, hides and such and to make sure that our electric fence is working properly - which thankfully it is!
The marsh was alive with birds as I did my circuit. With a much warmer day than my visit on the 30th it was not surprising that the Lapwing and Redshank activity was more prevalent and the local Carrion Crows and our wondrous Marsh Harriers were getting a proper seeing to by the Wader Early Warning Battalion.
Seeing off the Crows
All the usual dabblers were still attendance with several smart Pintail and plenty of Teal. The Shoveler and Gadwall were getting particularly amorous and gaggles of males were giving chase of beleaguered females.
Gadwall playing chase
Shelduck drakes always outnumber females and the same chase has now begun with them too. You can really see how much bigger he is in flight but her smaller size comes in handy for hiding with her clutch down rabbit burrows.
Female Shelduck on the left
Incoming Little Egrets - I saw eight
I saw a single Sand Martin and Swallow and aside from Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps in the woodland it was only the scatty chattering of six Sedge Warblers that indicated further summer migrant arrival. Finding five pairs of Bearded Tit was excellent and some showed nice and close to the path.
Two pair of Avocets seem to favouring us with their presence again and I heard a Little Ringed Plover but could not find it. Coots were nest building everywhere and tehre were good numbers of Pochard and Tufted Duck which bodes well for the breeding season.
There were plenty of insects on the wing in the warm sunny spots with the heady scent of Sloe attracting Small Tortoiseshells, Peacocks, Commas and Brimstones along with many Bumbles and a host of Hoverflies.
Down at low level Dark-bordered Bee-flies hovered in front of the Ground Ivy and nectared with their long proboscis.
All too soon my circuit was done and my tasks complete so I topped up our feeders for our ever hungry and very bust House Sparrows and headed for home.
PS: and yes I did feed all the Rocky Robins too...
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