Autumnal light and dragonfly flight

Well as we march headlong into November, the autumnal days and the light it brings is making Lackford the place to be. The wildfowl population on the sailing lake is growing with lots to see including wigeon, pochard, tufted, gadwall and mute swans always in view. The gulls have started to come in on the evening now to roost, only a few though. However, these numbers should increase to several thousand in the next few weeks.

On The Slough, lapwing numbers have increased over the past fortnight and there are a good sized flock present. These put on fabulous displays over the reserve when spooked by the odd passing bird of prey. Teal are also present here in large numbers and their iridescent teal coloured marking can shine with amazing vibrancy in the low autumnal light. Several snipe have been seen from Bernard’s hide on most days and the kingfisher is displaying well from Paul’s hide. On one day we even had a great egret pop in and was seen from Bernard’s and a great photo was taken by regular visitor Frances Crickmore.

Elsewhere on the reserve, snipe can be seen very close to the hide at Steggall’s and the otter still keeps popping in from time to time. Bess’ hide and Long Reach is getting busy with up to 8 little grebes spotted amongst the tufted, teal, gadwall and wigeon.

Starlings, although flying over in the odd large flock, have not started to murmurate yet, but with fingers crossed, we hope it won’t be long. Watch this space and our social media pages because as soon as it starts to happen, we will let you know. Siskins are beginning to be seen on a regular basis around the visitor centre and on the alder trees near the winter hide. Have a good look at these flocks when you see them as there might be the odd redpoll or two amongst them. Also keep an eye to the skies as fieldfares and redwings can often be seen flying over and we have had a confirmed sighting of a rough-legged buzzard flying over too!

On the insect front, despite the cool overnight temperatures, there are still the odd common darter dragonfly around and some of the amazing ichneumon wasps which hunt along the willow weave fence outside the centre looking for their woodboring beetle