Warden’s Blog, 17/3/2016

We had a lovely morning on the reserve yesterday. We transplanted some primroses into the area we had tidied on Sunday (under the hazel coppice in Villa Wood) as most of the primroses already on the reserve are not in places where they can easily be seen. They should spread over this area in the next few years.
The scarlet elf cup is still flourishing and there are many more celandines in flower. The water saxifrage is growing along the sides of the boardwalk and should be in flower soon.
The warm sunshine had brought out various species. We saw six peacock butterflies and one brimstone butterfly; the colletes bees were busy on the sandbanks in the yard and there were lots of other small insects on the wing. I disturbed a grass snake and saw its tail end disappearing rapidly into the wood from the heath edge. We also disturbed a muntjac in the small silt pond near the yard which went bounding off towards Villa Wood.
Lots of birds were visible today. On the heath area the long tailed tits were busy in the same area where they nested last year and the Cetti’s Warbler was singing in the tree on the edge of the central pond below them. The blue tits are obviously getting ready to nest and are checking out a box in Cockaynes and also another pair are looking at the box on the weighbridge hut. Various ducks were displaying on the fishing lakes next door and we were extremely chuffed to see a pair of goosanders! The tufted ducks and grebes were showing off their crests in the sun. Our resident pair of pied wagtails were strutting their stuff in the yard; they must nest somewhere nearby.
Val Robson

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