A sunny Bank Holiday Monday, a rare thing indeed. The reserve was quite busy, especially in the morning, the skylarks were singing and the lapwings were sitting on their eggs and all was, more or less, right with the world. Sadly only more or less as when I arrived at the Building I was greeted by the sight below.
Unfortunately our plans to put out the raft tomorrow will have to go on hold as we will now need to repair the damage to the foam surround before I can paint it up and do the rest of the preparations and this takes a day or two, so perhaps next week we will have another go. It seems someone felt the need to make modifications to our design using their feet and as well as the sections kicked off altogether some of the other parts are damaged and will have top be cut out. At the risk of sounding, and possibility being a “miserable old warden”, it is unfortunately true that sunny weekends do bring problems. Today was characterised by more than the usual number of loose dogs and other inappropriate uses of the reserve.
However the day was still sunny and warm and most people were enjoying the reserve and the wildlife as the day demanded. Birds were rather few, a scatter of wheatear, 3 or possibly 4 yellow wagtail and 26+ whimbrel were the main migrants.
I managed to do the two butterfly transects, although there were not than many butterflies, even the blackthorn flowers did not have any butterflies on them despite a spectacular show.
Surely as a display of blossom it must be equal to any garden speciality.
Walking the north-east part of the route I came across a cluster of solitary bees nests in the top of the seawall, I have not had a chance to see if they are identifiable to species yet but they seem to be one of the Adrena species.
I also went north of the A27 as far as the spring where I came across my first dragonfly of the year, a broad-bodied chaser.
On my way back I spotted a number of small shiny-shelled snails in the ditch. They were floating to the surface and taking on air through their siphons which seemed very large. I had not noticed them there before, again I have not got an identity for them yet, although I have an idea, but need to look them up. (I have now and they are Aplexa hypnorum).
I am at Farlington tomorrow when we will see if we can sort out the raft and get it ready for a launch next week, fingers crossed!