Saturday, 27 April 2013

Signs of Spring at Cley and Salthouse Marshes

Carl Brooker, Summer Warden

What a difference a few days of warm sunshine makes, not only to our Fauna and Flora, but also to our Human visitors to Cley and Salthouse Marshes. Gone are the gortex coats and woolly hats and this week’s dress code has become short sleeves and tilly hats. Believe it or not even shorts have been sighted around the reserve!

It seems that some of our birds have been told that spring is here but not all of them, with lower numbers than we recorded last year at this time.

 Last weekend bought a few yellow wagtails and wheatears on the Eye field, while swallows, sand martins and one or two house martins have been using Cley as a kind of motorway service station to refuel as they pass northwards.

Sunday produced a bird that is very difficult to spot but once you’ve heard it there’s no mistaking it. We had a bittern booming in the area of Salthouse Marshes that is the focus of our Cley Marshes land purchase appeal. This is always a good area to check out on your visit to Cley from the East Bank, other notables there this week have included a red kite, a couple of common sandpipers, over a hundred sandwich terns and a lovely pair of whimbrel.

Water carpet moth
A couple of grasshopper warblers along the path by the Visitor Centre have been entertaining themselves by eluding the photographers. Sedge warblers have appeared in several spots around the reserve singing their hearts out on the few elderberry trees dotted along the main boardwalk to the hides.

Thursday mornings at the visitor centre is the time when we check our moth traps. After a disappointing couple of weeks, the fine weather brought us a really good crop that included a species only recorded once before at Cley, a water carpet moth.  (Lampropteryx suffumata)

Looks like rain is forecast for the weekend but whatever the weather there is always something exciting to see here at Cley and Salthouse Marshes, even if it’s from the excellent viewing point provided by our visitor centre with a nice cup of coffee.

No comments:

Post a comment