Natterjack Toads

This year the season has got off to a very good start, at the moment calling can start just after 20.00, when it is still light. This time last year there were none calling. The first tadpoles have emerged from the first strings of spawn and there is plenty of water still in the pool.

When checking one of the pools for frog tadpoles, spotted about two weeks ago, we scooped up a Male Palmate Newt, the Tail Filament separate it from the Smooth Newt, see photos.

We also came across a family of Mallards on the long pond.

Bob and Bri

Whitethroat

Posted by Ian

Walking around the fishing pond this morning trying to get a glimpse of the reed warblers that have been around for a few days now but no luck.

Came across this whitethroat singing in the sunshine,easy to see why they are called whitethroats.

Further along I watched several shelducks waiting expectantly outside a rabbit burrow that has been occupied by a female for a week or so now.

Wednesday 23rd April

We found our first two strings of Natterjack spawn today, last year it didn’t appear until May, so this maybe a good year.

There have been a couple of young Mute Swans visiting the ponds off and on for a couple of months but the resident Cob has chased them off and the other day there were two more, last years model, thinking of dropping in but then thought better of it.

Spring flowers are now appearing and the area is starting to brighten up.

Bob and Bri

Warblers

Posted by Ian

Had my first Grasshopper warbler on Wednesday but counted seven this morning.The first Sedge was singing by the fishing pond accompanied by a Willow Warbler. No Reed Warblers yet.

If it was not for their various calls I would really struggle to tell them apart.Our friendly robin was sat in the sunshine by the feeders waiting for Brian to turn up.

This weeks Sightings

Posted by Ian

A few shots taken around the reserve this last week,from the warblers (red legged grasshopper/willow/sedge) to a barn owl and roedeer).

Early mornings have been pretty spectacular with birds singing loudly in the sunshine.

Thursday !7th April

Our Friendly Woodpecker,

When checking and cleaning the bird boxes late last year it was found that Woody had been opening up all the entrance holes, except a couple that had previously been damaged and fitted with perspex surrounds. Six of the boxes were 10yrs old and required replacing, so these were also fitted with perspex surrounds and the finally the last two boxes were also similarly modified.

Over the last few months while sat on the seat, we listened to Woody hammering away at different boxes, smugly thinking it’s only going to blunt the beak on the perspex. Well, today it proved it’s determination and ingenuity, if you can’t go in through the front door, insert a new one in the side.

Grasshopper Warblers
Lots of Warblers have now arrived with the Grasshopper yesterday it only leaves the Reed Warbler outstanding. Listening and watching a Grasshopper warbler today, it was amazing to see how it just opened it’s beak and the grasshopper sound poured out for approximately a minute before stopping for a few seconds and immediately started again. the photo’s are not the best but they do show it singing.

Bri