It has been a mixed few days on the reserve with the glorious spring-like day of Monday with its unseasonal White-fronted Geese followed by steadily gloomier and wetter weather.

There were some non-avian highlights on Monday too with several Brimstones on the wing along with Small Tortoiseshells and Commas. The Sallows were alive with insects too with many Honey Bees and at least three species of Bumblebee with Buff-tailed, Early and Tree all being seen.

Honey Bee

Comma - Ken Bentley

I found one stripy Andrena bee but closer views will be required to identify it to species while we found five species of hoverfly including a new early spring species for the reserve (and me) called Melangyna lasiophthalma.

Andrena sp

Hoverfly - Eristalis tenax

Hoverfly - Melangyna lasiophthalma

Coltsfoot is great for early insects - Alan Reynolds

Chiffchaffs were singing in the woodland and the female Blackcap was still visiting the apples by the centre.

Blackcap - Max Hellicar

Chiffchaff - Alan Reynolds

It was all change on Tuesday when Dad and I did the stake and binder fence with heavy rain dissipating mid-morning to leave a fine but overcast day. The Golden Plover were still around and had increased to 39 while two Redwings shared the car park with us.

Purfleet Scrape - Graeme Truby- Surety

Wet Wednesday did not disappoint with Tony Houston finding a Great White Egret in the Ouzel Fields as he opened up in torrential rain. It stayed all day and although it ranged widely it was usually visible somewhere on the marsh!

Great White Egret - Andy Tweed

The stock take was taking longer than we expected and a brief pizza related respite saw us looking out over Purfleet Scrape at 6pm in now early evening sunshine with this stately orange billed heron parading up and down the ditch line while Lapwings twisted and tumbled all around and Redshanks ‘doodled’ amongst them. It felt like spring had finally arrived.