Snakes Alive

Another conservation party today, as it’s the first Sunday of the month, and we set about ‘beefing-up’ the protection from deer browsing, of some coppiced/pollarded willows in a patch close to the Education Centre.  Although there aren’t huge numbers of deer on the reserve, the steady attention of these few to browsing off re-growth can eventually kill the trees. Whilst it’s impossible to completely fence off these trees we can dissuade  the deer by surrounding the trees with brash, so that its difficult and unpleasant to stick noses through to get at the tender leaves. The end result isn’t exactly pretty – a little like a piece of installation art – but with the added benefit of being useful.

Protection from deer browsing

Protection from deer browsing

Afterwards we went to examine the contents of the light trap. Whilst there wasn’t a huge number of moths – only eight individuals – among them were these rather splendid Great Prominent, Pebble Prominent and Chocolate-tip

Great Prominent

Great Prominent

Pebble Prominent

Pebble Prominent

Chocolat-tip

Chocolate-tip

Whilst most of us were looking at moths one of the conservation volunteers went fora short walk towards the Ivy South Hide and was rewarded with the sight of a Grass Snake  swimming across the settlement pond. Luckily he was ready with his camera and managed to get a couple of pictures – here’s one ……

Grass Snake swimming in setttlement pond . picture taken by Geoff Angel -volunteer.

Grass Snake swimming in settlement pond . picture taken by Geoff Angel volunteer.

With the recent spell of warm weather it wasn’t too surprising to see a few butterflies including Peacock, Green-veined White and Orange-tip showing well. Jim noted in an earlier posting  of the emergence of  Large Red Damselflies and a dragonfly, possibly a Hairy Dragonfly was seen briefly.

Some summer plumaged dunlin have been much in evidence around Ibsley Water and one of the three or so  little ringed plover was giving good views as well.

Little ringed plover on shore of Ibsley Water - seen from Tern Hide.

Little ringed plover on shore of Ibsley Water – seen from Tern Hide.Som

Most of our expected summer visitors are now with us, and it’s difficult to escape the sound of warblers all around. with plenty of siskin and lesser redpoll making good use of the niger seed feeders as well.

Finally I’ve been asked to remind our readers that the driveway to the  Education Centre is being re-surfaced in the coming week( Tuesday to Friday). This will mean that the two car-parks on this side of the reserve can’t be used.  Although there will be a (very) limited space for disabled parking  by the driveway to the water treatment plant, all other visitors should park by the Tern Hide – Thank You.

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