A warm day with sunny intervals between the clouds and a light SW wind. Butterflies and dragonflies were the focus of my visit, and I recorded my first Emperor Dragonfly for the reserve, and my first Southern Hawker of the year, both males. Black-tailed Skimmers seemed to be everywhere along with Banded Demoiselle, and Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselfly. Meadow Brown was the most numerous butterfly with Ringlets beginning to emerge, and Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Small Tortoishell and Small Skipper also seen. Remarkably I saw no white butterflies at all! Where are they this year? I was also keen to note which waterbirds were breeding, and found 3 Mallard broods of 4, 6 & 6, 2 Coot broods of 1 & 5, 2 Canada Goose broods of 3 & 6, and a Great Crested Grebe sitting on a nest. Waterbird counts were 18 Great Crested Grebe, 7 Cormorant, 7 Little Egret, 9 Grey Heron, 16 Mute Swan, 18 Canada Goose, 27 Gadwall, 2 Teal, 91 Mallard, 4 Tufted Duck, 28 Coot, 9 Lapwing, 10 Black-headed Gull and 12 Common Tern. Warblers were represented by 7 Cetti’s, 5 Sedge, 22 Reed, 11 Blackcap, 4 Garden, 2 Whitethroat, 6 Chiffchaff and 5 Willow Warbler. On the second consecutive visit to the reserve I have seen no hirundines at all!
Witches Oak Water sighting reported by Vic Bevan
I recorded my first Emperor Dragonfly for the reserve.