Wednesday 29th September 2021

Another prominent Blackcap and Chiffchaff day with at least 15 Blackcaps of which six were around the sunny bramble bank near Flycatcher Tree. At least 25 Chiffchaffs were scattered around the reserve. There were also lots of Swallows moving through and pausing to feed low over the Flooded Fields and Warren Flash.


Jays have become much more visible in September as they’re foraging for and burying acorns but maybe also some migrants moving through. I saw at least four today. A single Raven cronked as it went overhead and one of the Ospreys was again over De L’Orne as I appeared from the end of the Main Hedge.


juvenile Marsh Harrier

One of the local juvenile Marsh Harriers drifted low over Black Water before landing in the reed bed opposite and lots of alarm calls and birds in the air alerted me to a Sparrowhawk on the fence posts out from De L’Orne hide.


Only three species of butterfly today, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and perhaps the most numerous and freshest were the Small Coppers.

Small Copper

It was great to see the White-tailed Eagle, reasonably close over Black Water as Adam, Steve and I attempted to bring in two of the tern rafts. The water levels are still low for this to be possible so we’ll have to try again after some heavy rain. Four Spotted Redshank flew in to De L’Orne lagoon as we were working and a single House Martin drifted overhead.

White-tailed Eagle

I finished with a visit to the Sailing Club to change the AudioMoth bat detector batteries. I analysed the data later and was thrilled to see that a Greater Horseshoe Bat flew past the Warden’s Hut at 11:30pm on the 19th September 2021. This is a significant record for Hampshire and has been confirmed by the Country Recorder.

Greater Horseshoe Bat sonogram

From the Sailing Club there were two Sandwich Terns roosting on the mud towards Inchmery and a reminder that winter is on the way was provided by a Bar-tailed Godwit roosting near the terns, two Rock Pipits by the Sailing Club and 18 Brent Geese in the river mouth.

Rock Pipit

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