We were stuck inside today in meetings; however our conservation volunteers were out in full force back to work in the willow coppice. A break out team also went down to reinstall the handrail at the footpath entrance by the crossroads on Ellingham Drove. Whilst they were down there a small birch was blown down across the road so luckily they were there and managed to clear it off the road straight away.
After lunch a couple of visitors headed into the Centre looking very excited and called us out of the meeting. No wonder they were excited – they had opened the door to Ivy South Hide and looked straight into the eyes of a large male otter!! He was sitting up out of the water on the fallen tree stump right outside the window. Amazing! No sooner had they spotted him though he slipped back into the water and out of sight, no time for even a click of a camera. By this point Jim’s face started to look a little bit green and it was back into the meeting for us!
After the meeting we took a new colleague from Testwood Lakes on a tour of the site and crossed all our fingers that we might bump into the otter even though it was 3 hours later! unfortunately it was not to be. However it was good to get over to the Tern Hide where we saw the gulls starting to come in to roost and there was a male and female goosander sitting huddled up on the near island. Two bird watchers in the hide reported that they had also seen earlier on the black necked grebe, ruddy duck and red crested pochard. As we left the car park a large flock of greenfinch were being blown around in all directions, just like the falling leaves swirling across the sky, as they came in to roost on their favourite tree.