Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ivel Ringing Group: Late start.

Ivel Ringing Group: Late start.

Recent visits

Dawn Chorus Walk - 09/05/2010:

We managed to remain mostly dry for out 4:30am visit for the dawn chorus. Despite the early drizzle the birds didn't disapoint with the early starters inc. Blackbird, Robin and the odd Wren keeping us entertained while we waited for the off. In the Rough the volume was cranked up to full as the Garden Warblers, Blackcaps Reed and Sedge Warblers joined in along with the residents. Common Whitethroat was a late starter after the noise level began to ease off a little. Up to 3 male Cuckoo's were heard, a Little Egret also put in an appearance, flying over us as we watched from the bridge by the STW. It landed on the first lake on 100 Acre before moving off again and heading for Castle Mill. That was the highlight of a very pleasant early morning visit to the park.

Saturday 15th May:

Finally the sun put in an appearance again although it was still very cold early on, not frosty like earlier in the week though. Blackcap, Common Whitethroat and Willow Warbler were all heard in the car park. A party of Swifts were busy over the main lake. 2 famillies of Canada Geese were over by the sailing club, one with 6 goslings the other undetermined, as they were alltucked in around one of the adults, but may have been the 5 seen last week.

Met up with DK along the main path and we wandered around the crescent, enjoying the Reed Warblers, and along the Spit. 2 Terrapins were out basking on a log on west Fingers and lone male Gadwall was a little further along, GCC was still on nest as was the Mute Swan. DK mentioned that he had seen an Otter a couple of days previous, also the 3 Coot chicks were down to a single. There was a Coot with 2 chicks a little later on east Fingers.

A little after DK departed and JA arrived we had a flyover Little Egret, possibly from Fenlake and looked to be heading over to 100 Acre/Castle Mill. It seemed a little quieter again this week, Blackcaps were much less evident but Common Whitethroats were still around in good numbers. At the STW reed bed there were still a few vocal Sedge Warblers, a singing Reed Bunting and CW's on the far side of the bridge. Not much about on the first lake on 100 Acre, a few Pheasants in the field, some Tufted Ducks on the large lake, Lapwing and unidentified wader also.

EN and EG were in the Rough for a CES ringing session. On the east side of the main lake we had a flyover Jay, heading for The Barns. A quick check of Fenlake turned up a couple of Shelduck on the lake and that was just about the lot. Another good morning around the park.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Saturday 8th May: Step replacement

It was a braw bricht moonlicht nicht... well not quite that bad but it was a raw, wet, chilly Saturday morning that saw the start of our latest volunteer task. Despite the weather three hardy volunteers turned up to help replace steps down to a series of fishing swims (also good places to sit and watch the world go by when not occupied by fishermen).
Having replaced the steps down to the Finger Lakes Conservation zone last task the volunteers quickly settled down to work removing the old steps, cutting the new and then installing them. The team of volunteers and Ranger Nicky M. managed to replace three sets of steps, fuelled by copious amounts of tea and biscuits and with a storm kettle to warm themselves around.

The picture shows volunteer Dave trying to remove the indestructible post which despite being hit by a sledgehammer, levering out with a crowbar and other forms of gentle persuasion refused to budge. It finally succumbed to repeated efforts and snapped off near its base.

As ever, grateful thanks go to John, Stephen and Dave for all their hard work and we look forward to seeing you at our next task on Saturday 5th June.