Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday 27th February 2010

It was a grim start this morning with steady rain soon after I left the house! We stuck it out and, amazingly, it brightened up and turned into quite a pleasant morning. Met DK in the car park and we checked out the main lake where there were 7 Wigeon over near the sailing club with 4 grazing on the grass. Good numbers of Coot were also at the Sailing club end of the lake along with 10 Cormorant. A couple of Pochard were on the north side with the majority on the south side (in excess of 113). Odd Tufted Ducks were also present but we didn't find any Gadwall today. There were also ~58 Mute Swans.

Fingers was fairly quiet with 3 Tufteds on the east lake, a pair of Great Crested Grebes and a single Little Grebe on the west lake. Just the single Mute Swan pair (inc 500) this week along with several Canada's setting up territories and a Coot seen dragging some nesting material onto one of the fingers.

Along the Woodland Walk we had 3 Bullfinch including a spanking male!

With the help of JA's scope we managed to bag 4 Teal and a Shoveler on Fenlake but no sign of a stonechat. A Kestrel flew past and gave us a few good views as it hovered over the Fenlake meadow.

A male Sparrowhawk gave good views over Fingers, DK spotted it headin across the main lake and over the hide where we spotted it again on the south side.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Smoke without fire

Today, Tuesday, the wardens and the ringers tried to light a fire. Three times there were flames, three times there were crackles, three times there was smoke. But, alas, no bonfire. Every thing was very wet - and that was before the afternoon sleet and rain began for yet another day.

The object of today's task was to reduce some more of the Hawthorn scrub in the 'Rough' to assist in catching the birds during the study period this summer. This 'constant effort' study has been going on along the same net rides for 20 years. If the vegetation is too high, the birds will not be caught, If the vegetation becomes too 'overgrown', the numbers and types of birds will alter.

The object of the whole exercise is to try and maintain 'standardisation' as near as is possible. This is achieved by 'rotational cutting'. This allows four differing heights and density of habitat to be available to the birds each year, maintaining the 'status quo' - more or less.