Friday, 8 August 2014

A day to remember at Maple Lodge Nature Reserve

From Rotunda Hide I noted two immature Water Rail present in a small area of flag Iris recently opened up by the dedicated work party crew. It's nice to know that at least two of this years young have fledged successfully.

I then continued around the reserve passing the "everglades" where I spotted three immature Eurasian Sparrowhawk flying around the Alders while calling out very loudly. Another successful breeding record. If you didn't already know this is probably the first confirmed breeding record for the reserve.
Approaching the pudding stone I spotted a small red dragonfly and was pleased to find that it was in fact a male Ruddy Darter.

On reaching Long Hedge Hide I decided to sit for a while and watch the ongoing activities of the resident birds. The pair of Great Crested Grebe were noted with their latest addition which was well fed by the attentive male. A female Tufted Duck cruised by with a brood of ducklings while across the water a lone Kingfisher put in a brief appearance. Then I noticed a large Lesser Black-backed Gull present on the now abandoned tern raft acting peculiarly. It kept tapping the perspex sides of the raft before getting agitated and moving further along the raft. I soon realised that the bird could see its reflection in the perspex and watched for a whole hour as this odd but rather comical behaviour continued.

 I then decided to head off back home and on reaching a patch of Buddleia near the pond I noticed a  wonderful Hummingbird Hawk-moth. This was my first at the reserve for quite a few years and a welcome finale to my day.





  1. Great pics and blog Paul, what a wonderful day!

    1. Thanks Martin,
      It was one of those days that you sometimes get at the reserve when everything happens at once! A big thanks must go out to yourself and the work party for keeping the reserve in fantastic condition.