Monday, 28 April 2014

HIlgay in late April

Nick Carter, Conservation Officer (Fens)

Three hares, photo by Nick Carter
I was watching three brown hares this week boxing and chasing each other; someone hasn’t told them it is nearly May! Several roe deer are also seen regularly on the site and there was also a herd of about a dozen red deer on the neighbouring Methwold site recently. 

With more water present (more of this later) waders have been passing through in small numbers. At least three green sandpipers have been present and single greenshank and dunlin, the latter coming into summer plumage, have joined the lapwings, redshanks, little ringed plovers and oystercatchers. Disappointingly only two sand martins have been seen so far feeding over the lagoon area. It may mean we will have to scrape some of the sandy ditches each year to encourage them to excavate new burrows. Interestingly a pair of little grebe is now regular on the site and mallard, gadwall, shoveler, teal, shelduck and tufted duck are all still present. So far only mallard ducklings have been seen.
Water violet on site, photo by Nick Carter
Aquatic plants have started to colonise the site naturally and we will be monitoring this development. A small patch of water violet has appeared in one of the internal ditches to make a colourful addition to the flora of the site.
Unfortunately the abstraction system has sprung another leak so we are unable to draw water from the River Wissey from our summer abstraction licence. The site is still relatively wet following the winter so it is not too critical and rain last week will have helped too. We hope to get the leak fixed a soon as possible and re-start abstraction. On a positive note the perimeter bund has now been completed, which is another major milestone in the development.

1 comment:

  1. I work down the road at Darby nursery and we get up to 5 little ringed plovers visiting some days, first turned up about 5 years ago and breed most years as well.