While walking around the Reserve today we spotted this stonechat in Flora Field. West Field scrape was extensively flooded with the rain we have had and there were many Black-headed, Herring and Lesser Black-backed gulls present. Further round there were a couple of mistle thrush in Big Meadow.
As the Saturday volunteer group were working along the Long Pads footpath a large flock of linnets were alternating between Flora Field and West Field. Well over a hundred I would say.
Fraser reports seeing a hedgehog in Lower Sowerholme this morning.
Can someone identify this flower for me. It’s on the new path through Pony Wood.
Phil Hendry took this lovely photo of a cuckoo bee on the margin of the Long Pads – one of very many. There were lots of mining bees too. This is what he wrote:
Following your questions about whether it is a ‘good’ bee… It doesn’t collect pollen; it visits a wide variety of flowers. It’s ‘naughty’ in that it is a ‘cleptoparasite’ – laying its eggs in the nests of several species of solitary ‘Andrena’ mining bees – along that path, they’re mostly Andrena fulva, the Tawny mining bee, though there are a few Ashy mining bees (Andrena Cineraria) nesting there too.
We saw one possibly two wheatear today – they usually drop by after the field has been ploughed , en route to the Greenland probably. Also a mistle thrush. Over our garden , so should be over the reserve too, our first sighting of swifts.
We haven’t seen roe deer in the reserve recently but one was outside my kitchen window yesterday early morning, on it’s way to nibble the leaves off the roses.
On Monday afternoon we saw two shell duck in the West Field wetland and a couple of roe deer peeping out of Upper Sowerholme toward the Fauna path.
Did anyone record the row deer we disturbed last Saturday whilst sowing the Flora Field seed margin? It ran out of Pony Wood and across the ploughed field and into Lower Sowerholme.
Yesterday early evening we spotted two grey partridge in Flora field, the first time for over a year!
A heron flew up from Lucy Brook this morning and I spotted a hare lolloping along in Flora Field.
Walking across Flora Field (arable section) this morning during the volunteering session I flushed a large group of snipe (at least 6, probably 8-10) from the lower northern slope, towards Lower Sowerholme, and then a further 2 nearer Pony Wood. They must have been tucking into small creatures in the recently-spread manure. I was headed for the beetle banks and the water supply points, which needed marking with tape to alert the ploughing contractor, so I certainly didn’t cover the whole field. Maybe next season the flush count needs to include Flora Field as well as the wet areas, at least after the muck has been spread?
It was a very misty morning with low cloud and low visibility, but we heard geese passing over – greylag I think- and several curlews in the distance, down towards the estuary.