It’s been an exciting day for wildlife recording here at Langford with some star bird species making an appearance and a potential first for the County!
The day started off rather dreary, with overcast skies and light rain as I made my way around silt lagoon 4, but I was soon cheered up by the fantastic squeal of a water rail in the bankside vegetation right beside me. Numerous redwings and fieldfares flew over Phase 2 and a cetti’s warbler called loudly from silt lagoon 6.
This afternoon the three whooper swans returned after an absence of about a week, with an accompanying group of mute swans on silt lagoon 5 and a stunning male stonechat was perched on top of a willow tree around silt lagoon 6. However, it was thanks to our former Nature after Minerals Project Officer, Paul French for picking up the best species of the day….bearded tit. We had a flock of up to 15 last winter and it’s is great to see them returning this year. The birds were picked up around silt lagoon 6, so can be viewed and heard easily from the public footpath along the eastern boundary of the reserve, just south of the viewing screen. Please stick to the public footpath when viewing.
And the potential first for the County….? Not a bird, but a beetle, Longitarsus dorsalis to be exact. This species has no English name, but is a member of the leaf beetle family, the Chrysomelidae. It is also known as a flea beetle, referring to it’s ability to jump long distances when disturbed. At only 2mm long, it is quite hard to spot, but is distinctive with a dark coloured body and a yellow band around the edges of it’s wing cases.
The species isn’t common in the UK, being fairly widespread, but local in south east England, East Anglia and the southern East Midlands, the larvae feeding on various species of Senecio – the ragworts and groundsels. We hope to find this beetle again next year and fully confirm it’s identification and continued presence on site.
With the current phase of landscaping on the verge of completion, Site Manager Michael Copleston couldn't wait to spread the word.
So, yesterday he invited BBC Radio Nottingam's Mark Dennison to the site, to tell him all about it.
You can hear Michael's interview on Mark's programme on Friday morning at 10.00.
In the meantime, you can 'read all about it' on the BBC Mobile news page on the internet under 'NEWS Nottingham'.
The above image shows Michael being interviewed by BBC Radio Nottingham's Mark Dennison.
I was out on site today conducting the monthly WeBS (Wetland Bird Survey) and what a pleasant morning it was, with clear skies and bright sunshine.
The results of the count are as follows –
72 tufted duck
5 little grebe
1 great crested grebe
3 grey heron
1 little egret
1 green sandpiper
9 mute swan
and a whopping 314 black headed gulls
Also on site today was a sparrowhawk over Phase 3, a treecreeper feeding with a tit flock in the woodland and a song thrush (not a species I see that often here), feeding in leaf litter on the woodland floor.