Friday 11 May 2012
Not a Drop of Rain
Getting up just after 05.00 this morning, as I do every day, I was immediately struck by the fact that it seemed too bright outside, had a light been left on overnight outside, no it wasn't raining! and what's more there were large patches of clear sky showing. It was due to be warmer and sunny all day and so my first priority was going to be catching up on much overdue gardening but an hour or so later, with sunshine flooding across the marsh across the road, clearly a brief visit to the reserve was in order. Sunshine and blue skies had certainly worked their charm on the birds as well as me, because the reserve was ringing from all directions with the sound of bird song. Sedge Warblers in the reed beds, Whitethroats in the scrub, Redshanks, Lapwings and Skylarks on the grazing meadows, all were competing to be the loudest to be heard and through them all would glide the Marsh Harriers and a Short-eared Owl.
Walking through the grazing meadows today there were large numbers of the above fungi dotted all over the place. I have a clue what it's name is - perhaps somebody can enlighten me.
After a brief flurry of butterflies in the warm sunshine of March they have been almost totally absent since, on the reserve and not surprising given the weather, but today I did get one one get up in front of me, a pristine Small Copper, my first of the year and such a beautiful little fella.
I passed the Mute Swan's nest, a harrowing sight with the cob still sitting alongside it waiting for his dead mate to return, and approached the willows at the rear of the barn (see below). Here I spotted what is possibly a reserve first, I'll have to check the records, a Spotted Flycatcher. It was making repeated flights out over the ditch water to catch insects and I was entranced, it was a rare treat.
From there I decided to have another look at the Kestrel in the old wine box and today it was sitting in a much better position than the one in my last blog. Today it was properly inside the box with just it's head looking out and although it's a bit far away you can see it (I didn't want to get any closer with my little camera and risk scaring it).