bird's-foot trefoil
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Early May 2020 – Reserve

6 May 2020

First lapwing chick spotted!

A few of our staff who are still working on site looking after the wildlife; our birds and red squirrels, have been taking note of what species they have spotted and what activity has been going on in the wider areas and further reaches of our reserve.

Top news for the past week was the first sighting of a lapwing chick seen at our Wensum wetland, despite the torrential rain that was falling. Also brought down by the rain were the first sand martins and about twenty swallows.

On our Wader Scrape three avocet were still present; two sitting tight on the second island one in among the gulls nests. Two pair of lapwing were spotted still on the cultivated plot next to the Wader Scrape and another two on rushy marsh (they have not tried to breed here before so this is a new spot for them) and one pair are still visible on the veldt.

Other unusual sightings included two female and one male marsh harrier, all together over the reed bed, and a pair of cuckoo (very rarely seen together). The calling birds we have been hearing are the males.

In the dry meadows there seems to be less flowering cowslip this year which is possibly due to the dry weather, however the recent rain has brought out the first flowering meadow buttercup and bird’s-foot trefoil (pictured), also known as ‘eggs and bacon’ because of its colours! Previous names included ‘cuckoos stockings’ and ‘Granny’s toenails’! It is an important nectar plant for many butterflies, flowering through the summer.