Workers, Large and Small

Back after a very enjoyable holiday and straight into a Thursday volunteer task. We spent the morning clearing vegetation from the shore of Ibsley Water in front of the Tern hide. In pulling taller plants from the shallows I found a nymph of a water scorpion, an insect I have not seen for some time. By the end of our two hours the view was opened up well and more particularly a large number of small willows had been dug up, when these become established they make the shore unsuitable for breeding and feeding waders as well as blocking the view.

At Ivy Lake it was good to see that the last of the common tern chicks had just fledged, I suspect that we may have had over fifty chicks fledged this year from the twenty-two pairs, an extraordinarily high success rate.

I spent most of the rest of the day going through a witter of emails, surely the scourge of modern working life must be the unnecessary email message, I’m not saying email does not offer good quick communication, just too much of it. It makes me wonder how we managed before computers and mobile phones, in my memory I seem to see a lot more work getting done, but no doubt I am looking through rose-tinted binoculars.

I did get out towards the ende of the day to look at the Himalayan balsam situation in the area along the Dockens Water south of the Centre, I found some scattered in the nettles and pulled a few.  I also found two interesting plants a rather out-of-place knapweed and most interestingly a devil’s-bit scabious plant, I suspect the seed of the this last was washed down the Dockens Water from the New Forest.

Devil’s bit flower

I went down as far as the silt pond and into the small area of acid bog where the Dockens overflows at times of flood. The patch of bog myrtle was looking very healthy, possibly because of the wet summer.

bog myrtle


mosquito controller at work




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