A Day by the Water

By which I mean Ibsley Water, where we spent the day working with a party of staff from one of our Partners, Bournemouth Water. It was particularly fortuitous that it was a Leap Year as this allowed us to do a task willow cutting on the shore of the lake, in a normal year it would have been the 1st of March and so into the “no scrub cutting” season. This is a bit of an arbitrary date, but a fair one to choose as many birds will start to nest soon now. These low willows are not really suitable for nesting, although they might be used for feeding by some, but as they grow on the lakeshore where open grass suitable for grazing wildfowl is more of a priority, we have been removing them throughout the winter. This shows the site at the start of the task.


We disposed of the cut material mostly by building a dead-hedge, which will be a useful habitat and is especially popular with nesting song thrush. The rest we burnt on the lakeshore. After about four and a half hours work the site looked like this.


Hopefully everybody enjoyed their day out from the office , they certainly got  a lot of work done and without their help it would definitely not have been done this season. I got this team picture just before they were ready, but it does have a flock of greylag geese in shot.

not quite ready but with geese

In wildlife news, I understand the bittern was seen again today from Ivy North hide and I saw the Slavonian grebe on Ibsley Water. At the end of the day the, now huge, roost of black-headed gull included at least 52 Mediterranean gull, all but two of them adults and amongst the modest number of larger gulls I found a first winter Caspian gull.

The moth trap did not contain much, perhaps not a surprise after rather a cold night, there were just a few common Quaker, small Quaker and clouded drab.


2 thoughts on “A Day by the Water

  1. Re robertc’s blog for 29 February, please can you confirm that the grebe seen by the working party on the south shore of Ibsley Water was a Slavonian? When I arrived in the Tern hide at 14;30 the four occupants referred to it as a Black-necked. The bird was fishing between the Tern hide & the south shore. To me it seemed to have domed head but the front of the neck was very white! A later arrival to the hide thought it was a Slavonian & to me that seems to be more likely. I would just like your confirmation, please. ( I saw no other grebe feeding in that area. The Little Grebe & Gt Crested Grebe were in the more northerly part of the lake.)
    Thank you..

    • The small white-necked grebe at the southern end, usually off to the west of Tern hide would have been the Slavonian. There have been two black-necked grebe but they are pretty much always along the northern shore. Your description is also good for Slavonian.

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