Sunday, 15 July 2012
With one thing and another, it's probably three weeks since I last visited the reserve. Time enough for Nature to paint a different canvas, presumably using watercolours. The growth on the butterfly bank has been phenomenal and towards the northern end seems to consist mainly of Yellow Vetchling. However, about halway along, a single Corn Cockle flower was spotted, pointing its purple bloom skywards in defiance of all other vegetation. Through the Comfrey Triangle, Azure Damselflies flitted between grass stems and the occasional Blackcap could be heard. We arrived at the Far Hide in time to see a face off between two pairs of Great Crested Grebes. The victors, obviously buoyed by their success, then saw off a Coot. A Reed Bunting flitted past with a faecal sac in its beak, whilst, in the distance, a large bird heading north with a strong flapping motion of its wristy wings may have been an Osprey. Too far away to be sure. Retracing our steps to the Near Hide, I was struck by the Hendrix-ification of the bund, the Loosestrife flowers creating a purple haze, shimmering above the other vegetation. Several Reed Warblers hopped through the undergrowth immediately in front of the hide and a few Lapwing twisted and turned above the water. Twenty or so Common Terns were swooping over the lake, some of them juveniles with a white forehead. Swifts, too, were busy feeding on the countless flies dancing over the water surface. As we returned to the car park, the skies lightened as the sun put in an appearance. The butterfly bank resumed its eponymous function as we identified Ringlet, Small Skipper and Gatekeeper. It's great to go on holiday, but it's also good to be back.