Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday 11/08/2012

Last Sunday the volunteer group were working in the park. The first task was to remove the Himalayan Balsam along the river between Cardington Lock and the Canoe Slalom. It seems a shame as this is a beautiful flower as seen below:

Himalayan Balsam flower
However as you can see below it is an extremely invasive non native species and soon takes over:

Himalayan Balsam
Having removed several blocks of this plant during the morning we moved over to the Finger Lakes in the afternoon where we removed 3 boat loads of Water Soldier from the east lake. This is another invasive species which is rapidly taking over the Finger Lakes this year. The plants sit below the surface and then rise up at flowering time.

This morning it was quite a foggy start over the main lake and the light was a little disappointing after yesterday mornings glorious start. I did catch this group of Canada Geese coming in to land in front of me and the main lake dipping platform is a good place for a Tern fly past.

Canada Geese

Common Tern
As I walked down to the dipping platform I had 12 Blackbirds on the New Meadow and 3 Greenfinch in the hedge by the Labyrinth. DK joined me at the dipping platform and immediately trumped my Blackbird and Greenfinch counts with 15 and 10 respectively.

EG was ringing in the Rough again so we stopped to have a chat and obviously brought some luck as the first birds of the day were extracted from the nets. A Green Sandpiper flew over calling. This Bullfinch was hanging around most of the time we were in the Rough but was avoiding the nets, at least until we left.

Generally it was quiet with birds of note being the 8 Swallows over north east at the STW bridge, a Kingfisher by the main lake at the Visitor Centre and 2 Swifts in the same area. There were quite a lot of calling Chiffchaffs and we also had a singing Willow Warbler on the corner of the Finger Lakes opposite the Beach.

The sun eventually burned through the clouds and I had a very pleasant wander around Mowsbury Hillfort Nature Reserve. Goldcrest was note worthy among the birds and there were also a variety of butterflies around including Peacock, Brimstone, Large White, Green-veined White, Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood. A Brown Hawker Dragonfly was hunting in the Orchard.