Monday, April 14, 2014


Another sunny day on offer today saw me heading over to MSQ to see what goodies were on offer at this superb inland reserve.I started in usual fashion by checking the sheep fields,new workings and pools and they revealed some decent numbers of birds which included 62 Sand Martin,1 Egyptian Goose,6 Redshank and a pair of Wigeon with a few Willow Warbler,Chiffies and Blackcaps in the adjacent hedgerows and woodland.I then,as usual made my way around to the reserve proper,had a quick bite to eat and made my way down to the Grebe Lake,listening to a singing male Water Rail as i walked the pathway.No Otters today on Grebe Lake,but a very welcome first for the year in the form of a single Common Tern flying over the Lake giving some nice views before it disappeared over the trees in the direction of the main lake.A minimum of 3 Kingfisher were seen on several of the water bodies today,with 2 together on the pits along the entrance track,providing some excellent viewing and some welcome colour to the days sightings,hopefully they will settle down and nest this year.I continued through the reserve and the Heathy area provided some interesting and 'First' sightings of the year in the form a single Tachina ursina and Gorse Shieldbug,the former a member of the parasitic Tachinid Fly family,these group of flies lay their eggs on the unsuspecting host before the larvae hatches and eats the host while it is still alive.Another Tachinid was also seen nearby,the much more attractive Gymnochaeta viridis,this species resembles the 'Green Bottles' and is quite common around the reserve in the wooded areas,being seen basking on the sides of sun soaked trees in the Spring,a cracking fly species.The only Reptile of the day was also seen here,a single male Common Lizard,basking in the warm spring sunshine,my first sighting on the reserve so far this year.I continued around to the Duck hide seeing very little on the main lake apart from a single House Martin feeding over the water in amongst the Sand Marts and as i left the hide another 'First' for the year in the form of a Speckled Wood boosted the already good list of insects for the day.A couple of Green-veined Whites were seen also and at least 7 Peacock Butterfly.In the plantation a Siskin was logged  and a few more Chiffchaff and Blackcap gave the following Warbler totals for the day,11 Chiffie,10 Willow Warbler and 10 Blackcap.Some great showings of Marsh Marigolds are being seen around the reserve now along with Greater Stichwort,Lesser Celandine and masses of Ground Ivy.The only notable Fungi seen today was the scarce Helvella corium.Another great visit with some increasing numbers of insects at last.

Goat Willow Blossum.

Tachinid Fly - Tachina ursina.

Tachinid Fly - Gymnochaeta viridis.

Gorse Shieldbug.

Greater Stichwort.

Marsh Marigolds.

Speckled Wood.

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