Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Maple Lodge Nature Reserve

A glorious afternoon with bright, warm sunshine and a light cooling breeze. On arriving at the Clubhouse I noted the resident pair of Mute Swan present with 5 cygnets on the Clubhouse Lake.

Making my way towards Rotunda Hide a male Reed Bunting sang from a Crack Willow and was accompanied by several Reed Warbler below in the Phragmites. From Rotunda Hide an adult Canada Goose was observed with its 2 remaining goslings while dozens of drake Mallard slept among the long grass, probably exhausted from recent breeding activity. Passing the flooded plantation a single male Hairy Dragonfly patrolled its territory and paused briefly to rest on the leaf of a flowering Yellow Flag Iris.

While enjoying the peace and tranquillity from Teal Hide a marauding Lesser Black-backed Gull was mobbed by an irritated Black-headed Gull causing a commotion so I moved on.

I eventually reached Shell Hide where I noted 4 pairs of Common Tern and a single pair of Black-headed Gull that had now nested on the rafts. This is the first time that Black-headed Gull have nested at the reserve and coincides with a recent expansion of this species breeding grounds (nearby at Broadwater Gravel Pit I recently counted up to 50 occupied nests with several young already visible).
Before leaving the hide and returning home I spotted 5 Red Kite that were soaring overhead on a thermal and watched as they slowly gained altitude and eventually disappeared from view. 


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