Everyday now we wonder if the hobbies will head off on the start of their migration, but at least one bird is still lingering around the new heath and was seen several times today. Eight or nine buzzards were up in the air together around mid - day, although rather distant and hard to see in the hazy skies. A chiffchaff was calling beside the Gatehouse and could be heard from our open office door and several noisy jay's have been making their presence known, giving an autumnal feel to the day.
Our volunteer Betty Cooke is finding some interesting insects and photographed this net - winged beetle. Although they are meant to be resident at The Lodge, they are rarely seen. Betty also took this fantastic shot of a hairy shield- bug facing a line of aphids.
Following my last post- I'm pleased to say that the hobbies are still around and have been seen here on the new heath again today. At the hide, 3 grey wagtails bobbed around the pool edges and were also seen on the brook at Biggleswade Common, just off the reserve. Also on the Common, whinchats have been seen on fence posts for several days around Furzenhall Farm , and five were reported here today. I took a walk down there this afternoon, seeing two treecreepers, a kingfisher, 25 yellow wagtails and some skylarks along the way- but no sign of the whinchats in the short time I had to search for them!
As we reach the middle of September, a few summer birds linger around the reserve. On Tuesday, we had stunning views of the hobbies on the new heath. At least one adult was skimming around, low and close to the path and Visitor Information Centre and passing food to a juvenile bird in mid-air. Both birds were calling noisily and it was a real spectacle that lasted for over half an hour. I haven't seen them since- so maybe that was their last good feed up before they head off on migration? The odd chiffchaff and blackcap have been noted, but with fungi now appearing (the first fly agarics were on the Sandy Ridge path this week!),several jay's in flight, and conkers on the ground, autumn is definitely in the air.