Grebes and colourful butterflies
Starting with the grebes, both little grebe and great-crested grebes appear to have had a reasonable breeding season on the lakes. Look out for the three young great crested grebes on the slough. I managed to photograph some of this family gang from Pauls hide this week (see above). Two of the young are still following the adult around begging for food. The other keeps to itself at the opposite side of the slough. Other young great crested grebes can be seen on long reach from Bess’s hide and down on plover lake. The little grebes are all on long reach from Bess’s hide. There is a couple of family groups messing around in front of the hide. Below is a photo of an adult little grebe and one of the youngsters.
The start of August has resulted in an explosion of colourful butterflies around the reserve with plenty of peacock, comma, red admiral and some really smart looking painted lady butterflies (see photo below). During our butterfly transect this week, 15 different species were recorded - purple hairstreak, brown argus and common blue are worth looking out for right now on the reserve.
Dragonfly wise – emperor, southern, migrant, brown and black-tailed skimmer are all worth looking out for.
Bird wise – hobby continues to be seen on the slough and long reach area of the reserve. The occasional wader can be seen on the slough with black-tailed godwits visiting us this week, a small number of lapwing are present most days and some common sandpipers have been reported around the edges of the sailing lake or island down the eastern end of the reserve. Grey herons and little egrets are often found on the slough. For ducks – plover lake from Derek’s hide and long reach from Bess’s hide are the best location and numbers should build over as we head towards September – look out for gadwall and tufted duck in those locations. Kingfishers continue to be seen on most days but it is difficult to predict where they might be every day – Pauls hide has been best this week.