One of the parts of the current improvement project on the reserve is the digging of a new dipping pond behind the Education Centre. You may ask why we need a new one when we already have one. The answer is the old one has a leak and needs repair, but to do this it needs draining and so will mean we would have no pond for dipping for perhaps a year. The new pond will allow us to effect the repair and eventually to have two ponds, which will mean that neither gets too disturbed as we will be able to spread the dipping activity between them. Below are a series of shots showing the pond developing up to today, when it is about half full of water thanks to a bit of much needed rain.
The project is funded by the Veolia Environmental Trust.
Next week work should start on installation of the new Tern Hide, so watch this space for further updates.
I know I probably overdid the bittern pictures last night but here is one from this morning anyway!
The unseasonably warm weather has yet to produce any summer migrant birds at Blashford, although elsewhere in the country there have been multiple sightings of swallow,sand martin and house martin, a swallow has even reached Shetland! We do have lots of signs of spring though, the wild daffodil are coming out in numbers, especially near the Woodland Hide and the moth trap is turning up some species more typical of March than February.
Things are also moving on with the various works on the reserve and are likely to pick up further next week. The new Centre pond is almost ready to receive water.
New pond under construction
Some things don’t seem so keen to move though, the bittern remains regularly seen outside Ivy North Hide, at times showing very well.
bittern fishing outside Ivy North Hide yesterday
The other notable heron species that had been seen regularly there, the great white egret does seem to have made the move though, with no sightings in the last few days. My last known sighting of “Walter” the colour-ringed egret was last Saturday, I am guessing he has returned to France for the summer.