Blashford’s temperate rainforest and pretty pink

Yesterday the Thursday gang had a went to look for Himalayan balsam plants growing along the southern end of the Dockens water. This area is probably the most biodiverse habitat Blashford has, a mix of ancient and wet secondary woodland, with areas of fen vegetation. The Dockens water splits in to several streams which all move around and gradually finding their own way through the habitat. It also has a great many dead and dying trees which provide niches for a wide range of birds, mammals and specialist insects. Possibly the best way to describe the area is temperate rainforest… but whatever you class it as it was a lovely place to be yesterday with thousands of azure blue and common blue damselflies on the wing and a fair few banded and beautiful demoiselles too.

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Volunteers hunting out balsam

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One of many wet areas with water mint, water forget-me-not, gypsywort, hemlock water dropwort and many other wetland plants.

Thankfully we didn’t find much balsam, but we did find another invaisive species, a small pretty pink flower called pink purslane, a native of North America, that has unfortunately started to form dense carpets across the ground in a few areas.

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Pink purslane

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Volunteers weeding out pink purslane

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Philip with an impressive haul of pink purslane on a willow branch

We also found nice patches of an uncommon native flower climbing corydalis, which was great to see.

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climbing corydalis

A big thank you goes out to all the volunteers who helped.

This morning the lapwing chick in front of Tern hide was just 5 feet from the hide when I opened up. If it can avoid the local foxes and corvids for just a couple more weeks it should be fine.

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lapwing chick

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Lapwing chick stretching it’s wing and showing it’s primary flight feathers are starting to grow.

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