Saturday, 1 June 2013

First water trail to Cockshoot Broad

Daniel J. Maidstone, Boat operator at Ranworth Broad

Great Crested Grebe with Young, photo by Paul Littlechild

The Damselfly boat was once again enjoying  the sunshine over the bank holiday weekend, with plenty of trips. The first water trail from Broads Wildlife Centre to Cockshoot Broad proved to be a success! Everyone took advantage of the nice weather that was forecast to enjoy a trip down river. With the sun shining, both people and wildlife enjoyed the warm weather. Young ducklings and goslings were seen along with some young great crested grebes hitching a ride on the parents back. A male marsh harrier with its distinctive black wing tips, was seen soaring high in the sky over the reed beds. The songs of the various warblers and tits could be heard as we travelled down river past the old water works and old willow patterned gardens.

The walk along the boardwalk from Cockshoot dam to the broad provided people with close up sights of the management that has been carried out by the Bure and Ant reserve team. The reed cutting that took place over winter is now full of new reed shoots and other plants such as willow herb, milk parsley, yellow flag iris and various species of fern. The small stretch of dyke that can be seen is once again full of life with small red and common blue damselflies flying amongst the reed just above the water, a brimstone and peacock butterfly floating around the reed bed and trees. The plants emerging out of the water and spiders with their webs catching the small insects and flies. The carr woodland provided shade and cover for the woodland birds, such wrens, great tits, blue tits and finches where they will be searching for food to feed their young. 

Hopefully the warm weather stays and continues to encourage the next generation of wildlife.

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