With this next week forecasting some warm southern winds, it is likely the reserve will continue to see much of the same wildlife as in recent weeks. Looking ahead to the end of October and November, we would hope to start feeling a bit more like autumn with the leaves changing colouring rapidly and the nice autumn sunsets we get over the lakes.
Strange Autumn at Lackford
Back to right now at the lakes. Dragonflies like migrant hawker and common darter are still around. Butterflies like red admiral and small copper are also still out. Jays are still whizzing about in the sky as they hunt for food to store for the winter months so always worth looking up. A few great crested grebes can still be seen on the lakes.
In recent weeks the reserve team have been busy cutting areas like the slough so creating the right conditions for our winter wildfowl. Then have now finished the slough and have started to flood this area up for the winter. Already a nice range of wildfowl can be seen there like shoveler, gadwall, wigeon and teal. The slough area is also currently the best place to look for grey heron and little egret. The best thing is the snipe that have turned up to feed on these newly wet areas – we counted over twenty of them in recent days.
As we head into November more and more birds will arrive to spend the autumn / winter here. Look out more redwing and siskin. Keep an eye out for fieldfare and redpoll in the bushes around the car part as should be arriving soon. Wildfowl numbers will continue to build up on the sailing lake, the slough and long reach. Goldeneye are due to arrive early November.
The reserve should also start to feel more and more like autumn as the leaves change colour and start to fall. Catching these colours in the autumn like is amazing and if you stay to the end of the day, you might catch one of our amazing autumn sunsets over the sailing lake. Current sunset time is between 5pm and 6pm, after the clocks go back it will be from 3pm onwards. Look out also for fungi popping up all over the reserve as you wander around as well.
Over the coming weeks we have a number of special weekend demonstrations. On Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th from 11am to 4pm, we are having a garden bird advice weekend, with advice on what you can do to look after and what is best to feed your garden birds during the winter months. Then on Saturday 27th November, Viking Optics will be here for a binocular demonstration day so why not come along and have a look through some binoculars.
I will leave with a photo of a November moth. Even though it is October, these have started to appear on the reserve. Moths continue to fly throughout the winter during milder weather so I hope to show you a few more winter months in future updates