Monday, May 13, 2013

MSQ....A cracking day out..12.05.2013.

An early start today,arriving on site at 05.15,certainly paid dividends with some great sightings through the day.I started proceedings in usual fashion by looking at Grebe lake and!,not one,but two Otters.I watched them at moderate range,managing a few record shots,but what a great sight to watch.Both animals looked pretty much the same size,but continually fished in close proximity to each other,so i would say they were most probably a female and a well grown cub.One of the animals was incredibly pale for an Otter,being almost sandy brown in colour,certainly an individual i hadn't seen before.After this excellent start i continued my walk,enjoying some nice birdsong which included Reed,Garden and Sedge Warbler along with a distant Cuckoo,which i saw later.After the cloudy start the weather began to break at last with some sunny periods and pleasantly warm sun,a complete contrast to first thing,with me putting on my full winter birding gear.As i reached the heathy area i was very pleased to hear the welcome sound of the 'Pssst tick' call of a Spotted Flycatcher and after Dave arrived we enjoyed some nice views of the bird as it sallied after its flying prey.This was a new bird for Dave and a very welcome first of the year for me.As we explored the heathy area,i began to find some nice insects,which included a Bronze Shieldbug a fairly scarce species here and also nearby,my first Green Shieldbug of the year.We managed several hoverfly species,the best of which was several Leucozona leucorum and Dasysyrphus albostriatus.Find of the day was seen next,when i managed to find a cracking little moth on an Oak trunk,at first i was thinking it was a 'Micro',but after consulting one of my 'Insect' expert contacts,it was id'd as Least-black Arches,a new species for me.After seeing this cracking little moth,we eventually arrived at the main lake.After much scanning we eventually managed to find the Drake Garganey watched feeding around the bottom islands and later gained better views from the wader hide.These are a lovely striking duck and our only summer migrant species,spending the winter in Africa.Also over and around the lake were at least 200 Swift and 30 House Martin,with smaller numbers of Swallow and Sand Martin,providing a stunning spectacle to watch as they zoomed about after flying insect prey.Other sightings observed around the reserve today included my first ever sighting of a Stoat swimming,as i watched 2 animals chasing each other,one shot down the side of a ditch and swam across to the other side,a great piece of behaviour to see.A few wild flowers are beginning to spring into life and included some nice examples of Dog Violet,Greater Stichwort,Meadow Saxifrage and still large amounts of the stunning Marsh Marigold.The day ended with the expected rain arriving,but it was a cracking day out locally at this gem of a reserve.
Record shot of the 2 Otters.

Bronze Shieldbug.

Speckled Wood.

Least-black Arches.

Dasysyrphus albostriatus.

Leucozona leucorum.

Helophilus pendulus.

Female Shelduck.

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