White and yellow lilies in flower on the Lily Pond and masses of tadpoles- it must be summer despite yesterday's frost. Our youngsters are growing up fast with a number of juvenile lapwings already taking to the air and young oystercatchers who will be airborne shortly. Half grown curlew chicks were also seen on yesterday's early morning wader survey as well as a number of drumming and chipping snipe - but they keep their youngsters even better hidden than the curlews. The greylag goslings are almost adult size - but still under strict parental supervision, marched down to the loch like kids on a school trip. The mute swan cygnets are cute and fluffy and we have mallard ducklings of various sizes that have managed to evade the otters to date. Sadly the otters have had the last of the black headed gulls' nests and took out a coot's nest.
Our nest box survey at the weekend revealed blue, great and coal tits going to and from boxes and other cavities full of cheeping youngsters. The cheeping in the trees indicates that many broods have already left home but like adolescent humans are still making demands of harassed parents. The marsh harriers glide over the reed beds intermittently throughout the day and the osprey continues to make regular fishing trips. We have had a number of unexpected visitors passing through - a pod of Canada geese, wigeon, teal, pintail - or have they just spent the last month hiding in the reeds? The spotted crakes have been heard dripping away in the gloom again while the bats flutter past. Other night sounds include the families of barn and tawny owlets that snore and twit twit wooo woooo, squealing water rail, sleepy oyster catchers, irritable ducks and barking roe deer.
We have had a few drier days this week and painting of the Gullery and Swamp Hides is complete. The rain has restored water levels to pre-heat wave levels. We had hoped to bring you a mothy blog having put the trap out on the few dry nights that we have had recently but it seems like moths don't like chilly June nights. Last week we caught a solitary brown rustic and this week it was a solitary pale shouldered brocade. Butterflies are also few and far between - a solitary painted lady was enjoying the morning sunshine yesterday. The orchids are great though!