We are now starting to see the arrival of ducks on our lakes. Wigeon have been spotted on the slough, hawker pool, long reach and plover lake hanging around with some tufted ducks. Other ducks to look for include shoveler, teal, gadwall and pochard. These are now building up nicely in some areas.
Autumn really gets going at Lackford in October
Another sign of autumn is redwings and fieldfares around the reserve, feeding on all those autumn berries. A small flock of siskin have also arrived and are busy feeding on the alder seeds.
Lots of our smaller birds are starting to increasingly be seen at the centre feeders, so it is always worth looking at these at the beginning or end of your visit. Look out for blue tits and great tits busy feeding there on the mixed seed. You may also see marsh tits quickly grabbing a seed before disappearing again. A great spotted woodpecker is also a regular there. All the food that we feed the birds we sell in the centre, so why not give your garden birds a treat when you next visit! Also, if you are looking for advice about what’s best for garden birds or now to help encourage more into your garden, Visitor Officer Mike Andrews will be on hand on 14th November in the visitor centre to give you all the advice you need.
It seems to be turning out to be a good autumn for fungi too with lots of different species growing in the unlikeliest of places. Look out for our tiny bird’s nest fungi along the bank between the visitor centre and the viewing platform, who’s little egg like pods release spore when droplets of rain fall on them. There are also our amazing earth stars, which can be found in Ash Carr. We have many different varieties of fungi around the reserve all waiting to be found and admired.
The reserve takes on the autumn colours, as the leaves change. The next few weeks should be when the reserve is at its best for this. One of the best places to see this colour change is be looking out across the sailing lake, especially at sunset (between 4pm and 5pm) where the setting sun creates a lovely mood and enriches the colours of the leaves on the lake edge.