Autumn Sunshine – A Conservation day

A Red Admiral butterfly greeted me as I opened up the centre today. Later there were a few dragonflies including Migrant and Southern Hawker around the pond md the lakeside edges. Yet another mouse found refuge, and some free peanuts,  in the humane trap set up in the loftspace of the Centre. Quite large, I think it was probably a Yellow-necked Mouse, but it scuttled out of the trap so quickly that positive identification wasn’t possible.

Being Thursday and a Conservation Volunteers’ day we were assured of good weather and so most of us set to in clearing more of the lake edge vegetation around Ibsley water. The main invading species that needs to be controlled is willow, which would probably rapidly take over and turn the whole area into scrub. On the basis that one (or two) pictures are worth a thousand words……..

Before

and ‘After’ – we were so efficient even the volunteers have been removed – culled??

Ah well needless to say there was a remarkable difference to the vista, Regular visitors should notice greater visibility to the east of the Tern hide. The peninsula which sticks out from the right is now largely clear of shrubs and bushes. I said, ‘most’ of the volunteer were out on scrub clearance, but it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention our carpentry team who repaired a section of fencing by the gate where the  Rockford/ Ivy Lake path meets the road.

Bird wise it’s still a little quiet at this time of year. Plenty of coot and a smattering of duck species including tufted duck, mallard, gadwall, wigeon and pochard in evidence as well as  two young great crested grebe still being fed by their parents and a number of cormorants almost permanently on the small island out front left of Ivy South Hide.  On the feeders we are getting a nice range of smaller birds including some rather smart-looking nuthatches as well as the usual array of blue tits and great  tits and siskin are now regularly being see, whilst the woodland hide provides really close views of the great spotted woodpeckers.

I was told earlier that we have a couple of mute swans lurking on the Rockford/Ivy Lake path.  Couldn’t go earlier as was waiting for the volunteers,  so I’d best set off now to see if they need my assistance to get out.

Just got back – no sign of the swans despite searching the bits of the path along the wooded area,  so as the path isn’t, for the most part, that wide and it would be difficult to hide a large white bird, I’ll assume they got out by themselves or some kindly(brave!) soul helped them get over the fence.

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