Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Return To The Sand Quarries....Monday 21.04.2014.

With a decent forecast in prospect today i headed down the M180 to Messingham and the gem of a reserve that is Messingham Sand Quarries managed by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.I started the visit in usual fashion by looking on the sheep fields and the usual suspects were present as on my previous visit.This included at least 32 Sand Martin and 2 Redshank on and around the new workings and a displaying male Redshank,singing male Snipe,single Egyptian Goose and 4 Brown Hare on the fields.In the surrounding hedgerows and woodland 10 Willow Warbler and 2 male Blackcap sang their lovely songs.I then made my way around to the reserve proper and it was nice to see the Common Tern from my previous visit had now attracted a mate and much displaying and mobbing of intruders near to their raft was great to watch.Another single individual was watched over the main lake later on.As i walked past the small dipping platform i heard that distinct scratchy,low key song of a male Reed Warbler and i was soon watching this lovely little warbler,with another 2 birds being heard adjacent to the main lake.The Heath area revealed several nice insects,the best of which was the attractive Hoverfly sp. Leucozona leucorum and a male Common Lizard showed nicely in its Heather home.Other notables where at least 5 Twenty four-spot Ladybird,a Common Footman on the trunk of a nearby Oak,2 Gorse Shieldbug and a single Green Shieldbug.On the main lake apart from the afore-mentioned Common Tern,2 Goldeneye still held on,a 2nd calendar year drake and female,but very little else was seen on here.Just down from the Duck hide my second new species for the year came in the form of another 'Acro',a singing male Sedge Warbler,but he was a proper skulker and i never even managed to see him,which was a shame as these are one of my fave species.A little further over the little bridge down towards the wader hide a single female Large-red Damselfly was seen flying up from the ground as it's amber wings glinted in the sun.I attempted to get near it to try and get some pics,but it was having none of it and disappeared into some tall Birch trees,bugger.Quite good numbers of Butterflies had been seen today and included Brimstone,Green-veined White,Speckled Wood,Orange Tip,Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell,a female Brimstone gave superb views as she was watched laying eggs on an Alder Buckthorn tree.As is usual some nice flower were seen and included Greater Stichwort,Marsh Marigold and two new species for the year,Meadow Saxifrage and Cuckoo Flower.Another great visit to this excellent reserve.
Common Footman Larva.


Greater Stichwort.

Meadow Saxifrage.

Green Shieldbug.

Male Pheasant.

Black-headed Gulls.

Drake Gadwall.

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