Sunday, March 04, 2012

This weekend (inc. volunteer task)

Saturday dawned overcast with some light drizzle but cleared up during the morning to end up being a fine day. On the birding front there was little out of the ordinary. The Pochard and Tufted Ducks are feeding up and therefore spread all around the main lake with a decent number of Tufteds on Fingers also. This makes the counts very difficult, not only are they spread out but they keep disappearing under water to feed. One minute there are 5 next there are 20! Mute Swan numbers have also dropped off this week so the resident pair on the main lake are having a bit of an easier time of it. The mornings highlights were a kingfisher up at the STW bridge, a Goldcrest along the river on the south side of the park, opposite the boat club moorings and what was probably the Stonechat on Fenlake Meadows. I'm pretty sure it was but only saw it fly through my field of view as I scanned the fence line with my bins.It dived into the reeds and failed to show itself again, which is pretty normal for this bird.

I spent a couple of hours in the afternoon with EG clearing the rest of the nest boxes and replacing a couple that had seen a bit of Woodpecker action!

Sunday started wet and got wetter with sleet by lunch time. I had a quick wander around the Finger lakes with DK before the volunteer task started. Highlights were a very obliging Water Rail in the Crescent reed bed (main path side) and two Oystercatchers over south from Kramer hide. The rest was pretty standard stuff.

Then to the volunteer task for this month. We were in the Rough clearing net rides to allow EG to put up a few more nets and hopefully catch a few more birds during his ringing sessions. We had an amazing turnout given the weather conditions but the rain finally got the better of us around lunchtime when the ground conditions started to deteriorate too much to continue. We still got a fair amount done although we were unable to start a fire to burn the stuff we cut so EG will be making another visit to make a rather large bonfire.

Many thanks to all who turned out in such atrocious conditions, hopefully we will all have dried out by the next task on Sunday 1st of April (yes really!).
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