Water under the Bridge

Last night’s thunderstorms were still having their effect today as it appeared that the lakes had lost their sense of good manners and strayed onto the road at the end of Ellingham Drove near the A338. and also into the  entrance to the Tern Hide car-park.  Having driven in to open the gate I remembered, just in time, that  I only had shoes on so declining the inviting appearance of the water didn’t go for a paddle, but reversed out and took this picture.

The flooded entrance from the road

Having decided to give it a while to clear I returned at about 9:45 and again at 2.00 pm when the car-park itself was still awash.

Tern hide csr-park – with added water feature

Needless to say I didn’t open up the Tern Hide today so apologies to anyone who visited and wanted to get over there.

Elsewhere on the reserve there was plenty of water in the lakes and the outflow from the settlement pond made its presence audible as a strange rushing sound near the Ivy South Hide.   On investigating this is what I saw :-

Water (lots of) under the bridge!!

The state of the Tern-Hide car park rather thwarted plans to continue our conservation work of knocking back the willow growth along the south bank of Ibsley water,  even though a couple of the volunteers ( bless them!), were prepared to wade across the flooded area to get at that pesky willow!! .

So instead most of us took to removing more of the bramble and birch growth on the lichen heath, whilst a small group set about locating the large number of nest boxes that have been put up over the years, with a view to  cleaning them out for next year.  I think they found a number occupied by pioneering mice. The  ‘recommended’ cleaning method is to remove old nest material and then sluice out with hot water to kill off any parasites or their eggs.. Whilst the first part is O.K. I draw the line at producing a risk assessment for carrying round kettles of hot water to the more remote parts of the reserve.

At the Centre the new feeding station has been ‘discovered’ and is now being well used by the local avian population, but fortunately so far ( fingers crossed and all that) has not yet been ‘cracked’ by the squirrels   – give it time!!!  So popular is it that we’ve added a few more feeders.

Feeding station plus more feeders –with  great  and blue tit

All this plus a bash on cleaning some of the windows on the hides – we’ve been getting a lot of ‘dirty looks’ from the birds… made for a quite successful conservation day and once again managed without any rain intervening to spoil the day.

I realise there’s not much in the way of wildlife news today, but what with all the work and the limited access I didn’t get much chance to go walkabout, so to add just a splash of colour I’ll end with this shot of some sulphur tufts growing on one of the planters outside the Centre.

Sulphur Tuft fungus

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