Witches Oak Water sightings report by Vic Bevan

A young new visitor to the reserve

The highlight of an otherwise fairly quiet day was the sight of a badger cub just outside the sett on Phase 1; my first actual sighting on the reserve although there has always been plenty of evidence of their presence. A family of Mallard with 6 small chicks were on Lake 9, and at least 2 Mute Swan were on nests. Numbers of Damselfly and Demoiselles is buiding particularly along the riverside access tracks, and 6 species of butterfly were on the wing including a single Brown Argus.

Full bird counts were Little Grebe 2, Great Crested Grebe 9, Cormorant 7, Mute Swan 9, Canada Goose 4, Greylag Goose 2, Little Egret 2, Grey Heron 1, Mallard 103, Gadwall 22, Tufted Duck 3, a single male Wigeon, Shoveler 2, Lapwing 3, Oystercatcher 1, Little Ringed Plover 3, Water Rail 1, Coot 15, Common Tern 1, Swft 15, Sand Martin 20, House Martin 5, Swallow 5, Chiffchaff 6, Reed Warbler 29, Cettis Warbler 9, Blackcap 16, Garden Warbler 7, Willow Warbler 11, Whitethroat 4, Sedge Warbler 6, Lesser Whitethroat 2.

Butterfly counts were Brown Argus 1, Common Blue 22, Green Veined White 3, Small Copper 1, Speckled Wood 1, Orange-tipped White 1.