On Wednesday we were join by staff from Sembcorp Bournemouth Water to help with some scrub clearance. We headed out to a part of the reserve owned by Sembcorp and cleared willow scrub from along the footpath on the approach to Lapwing Hide. The idea being removing the trees will increase the area of reed and also allow a view from the footpath out into the reed beds. Thirteen of us made for quick progress and a big bonfire, it’ll be interesting to see what the area looks like in the spring.
On Thursday we carried out more or less the same task but this time at the southern end of Ellingham Lake. The reed bed here had become completely taken over by willow and alder trees so we removed them to help the reed re-establish next year. The reed that was there was very impressive and up to 3 metres tall in places, it was also full of small fish which makes me wonder if a bittern will turn up in this area now the trees have been removed. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped this week.
Bird sightings over the last few days have included 2 black-necked grebes, long-tailed duck and great white egret on Ibsley Water but unfortunately the Franklin’s gull has not been seen coming into roost the last 2 evenings.