Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Summers day visit to Maple Lodge NR

Yesterday (9th July) I decided to do a day trip to Maple Lodge NR and hoped the weather wouldn't be too warm - luckily it wasn't too bad and when it got really hot it was nice to shelter in one of the many hides
There were a few Ringlets and Commas at Comma Corner but the majority of  butterflies seen were Small and Large Whites with a few Gatekeepers around the Barn Owl Meadow

 There were still plenty of damselflies around

At the Teal Hide there was a Green Sandpiper on one of the shingle islands - a bit far for my camera lens to pick up in great detail but still a pleasure to watch as it fed and slept

A Little Grebe popped up in front of me and had a frantic preen - this looks like a teenager - a juvenile that's not quite hit adulthood yet

another juvenile bird - this time a Heron - made its way stealthily along the lake edges
before being chased off by an adult

At the Long Hedge Hide yet another juvenile - this time a Great Crested Grebe - was fishing for itself

The Tern raft looks to have been a great success this year - I couldn't tell how many adult birds were flying around or perching on the raft but it was certainly well into double figures - some chicks have hatched and you could just about see them moving around

It was a little too warm for hoverflies - unlike butterflies they are not a lover of hot weather - this one is Myathropa florea aka the Batman Hover due to the logo on its thorax
At the Clubhouse Hide a Jay was happily picking up spilt seed under the feeders

and a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker - still with its red cap - played hide and seek with me from the shrubs on the left

The nestbox at the back of the Clubhouse looks to have a new tenant - a Wren - it is probably only using the box as a roost or in this case a place to shelter from the heat of the day - it stayed in this position of half in half out for a long time

I know Squirrels aren't everyones cup of tea but there is a dominant one at the Clubhouse Hide who not only chased off any Magpies or Rabbits that dared encroach its patch - but who also took regular rest breaks across the wooden toadstool - it made for some entertaining watching


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