Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday 4th September: Meadow Management

After 2 months off over the summer the Priory Volunteers met once again to do battle with the blackthorn.

Hidden in the park we have a small glade where the wildlife can shelter away from people. Every year to maintain biodiversity in the meadow we cut the meadow and rake the arisings to reduce the nutrient content of the soil.

After raking the meadow in record time the volunteers then turned their attention to the blackthorn scrub surrounding the meadow and gave it a good cut back - in some places revealing some large rabbit warrens!
The blackthorn needs to be cut back to prevent it from taking over the meadow.
The sloes were almost ready and were quickly harvested by those who wanted them - they are rich in Vitamion C and used by many to make sloe gin, although our volunteers had to make do with tea and biscuits as usual!
The photos show volunteer Paul raking and volunteer Dave getting to grips with the Blackthorn.

Thanks to our Volunteers Dave, Becky, Alan, Paul and John for all their hard work.
Our next volunteer day is on the 3rd October at Mowsbury Hill Fort - a bit of orchard management and scrub clearance.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

On the move

Another quick ringing session after the rain this morning produced the following:
1 late Garden Warbler (fat), 1 scrawny Reed Warbler (not fat), 5 new chubby Blackcaps (3 fat, 2 still trying), a retrap juv. female from last week (trying to put on weight) & an adult male completing its moult which it started in the middle of July! - and hence 'no fat' , having put all its energy into growing new feathers so far. All were birds of the year except this.

Only other birds of note were a Marsh Tit, 2 flocks of Long-tails, and at least 3 Chiffs feeding up on the Elderberries. There were 4 Gadwall on the main lake and DK had some/a (?) Wigeon. Suspect the Gadwall were moved by whatever spooked the Ruddy Shelduck off Fingers as well.

bedsbirds : Message: Ruddy Shelduck @ Priory

bedsbirds : Message: Ruddy Shelduck @ Priory