The rain yesterday brought out a few of last years Common Toad toadlets, they have survived the winter and now hoping to reach full size before the next one.
Also a rare sighting of a pair of Shoveler ducks were spotted on one of the smaller ponds, photo was taken of the male.
A beautiful Easter weekend as forecast, makes a pleasant change,and the migrating birds are taking advantage of this high pressure to move north. Lots of Swallows are passing through and the locals have moved back into the stables, Warblers are returning, Willow Warblers are plenty and we have heard three Grasshopper Warblers. The Stonechats remained here through the winter, and now the males are perching high up claiming their territory.
The warm weather also brings out the idiots and yesterday was no exception, see attached photos.
The moth numbers dropped during the past few really cold nights but have now picked up again, a few photos are attached.
On the way along the channel side to check on the Natterjack ponds, there were four sheep with one new lamb and unfortunately another lamb drowned in a pool, then further on a dead Badger on the tide line, these high tides have probably caught them both unawares.
Finally, this rapid increase in temperature caused the Highland cow to cool off.
We have taken advantage of this dry weather and put the moth traps out overnight and even though the temperature has dropped to near freezing, we have caught a total of 117 with 10 varieties.
The Shelduck are now pairing up and can be seen flying and calling to one another, looking for a disused burrow to nest. Four were on the long pond on Friday, see photos.
It’s still only early April but the May Flowers have started to bloom, see photo.
Spring has sprung, the local birds are pairing up, a couple of Woodpigeon have had an early start and are already sitting, with the nest in an unusual position, below the path, see photo.
Natterjacks have already started laying, the attached photo shows the first tadpoles starting to emerge.
Coot have not been seen for at least a couple of years but this morning, two were on the long pond, see photo.
In addition to the normal visitors at the feeders there have been a few larger varieties, and this morning five Mallard drakes were waiting, managed to capture two on camera, see other photos and video.Magpie and Carrion Crows at feeders 25 th March…
Latest news on the swans, the female (white ring TYP) of the pair that have nested over the past few years, has been missing for a few weeks and it’s Male partner? has been on it’s own on the fishing pond. (coincidentally we also found the remains of two swan wings but unfortunately no legs to confirm it was definitely the female TYP)
The good news is that two other swans have taken up residence on the long pond and hopefully they will nest this year.
It’s still wellie weather on the reserve, ponds are quickly filling up.
The local female swan (TYP) has disappeared but we think it’s mate is on his own on the fishing pond and another pair, with a blue ringed female, have been on the long pond.
Brian finally removed the last of the hay bales at the weekend and has left the cows north of the last fence.
Art Gene have replaced the hinge post of the memorial gate, with one much larger in diameter and sunk a lot deeper.
Skylarks are now being noticed but with this weather they are not doing much singing.
A Coal Tit returned to the feeders today, see hazy photos.
Bob and Bri
During the hot weather we had a look in a few pond for any signs of frogs and spawn, found various amounts of spawn in the ponds located just after the horse field and also could here the males calling, but further on in the reserve, could not find any signs in the checked ponds.
Also in the horse field, an Oyster Catcher was just on the other side of the wall enjoying the sun, but it had great difficulty in walking, one of the legs was severely damaged.
On the walk back along Red Ley lane, a lone Green Finch was calling, not seen any on the reserve for quite some time now.
The morning calm on the fishing pond was broken by the fighting between two male swans, the resident pair had moved back from the long pond, where they have been for the past month, to find another male, who has been safely keeping out of their way, until this morning.
This male has no chance against the resident, his neck is much smaller in diameter and is no match against the larger male, see the video attached.
You would think after all the fighting he would take the first opportunity to leave but he was still there two hours later.
The two areas near the seat are now in full bloom, see photos, the actual location can be seen on the attached copy of Google map. The clump on the left are under the tree canopy and not easy to find, but the undergrowth around the others has been cleared and are much easier to view.
At the moment we are down to the original nesting pair on the long pond, (female white ring (TYP)
and on on the fishing pond one (male no ring)
On the others we had late last year, Colin from the south end has given us the details:-
4CVS – Forton Lancs – 17/9/17
H6P – Ormsgill Reservoir – 14/8/11
4BTC – Thurnham Lancs – 20/8/15
4CPA – Ormsgill Reservoir – 14/9/16
The tree surgeons have been back clearing areas around wet spots, and this time have burned the cuttings, not sure if they have yet finished, will attach photos as soon as we think the job is complete.
Bob and Bri