Monday, 19 November 2007

Pics from last Thursdays conservation day (not a lot seen today!)

This is conservation work at Middleton IE undertaken by the Ecological Appraisal and Biodiversity Teams from the Environment Agency as part of their 2 days per year environmental leave. Here Reed Mace is being "reined in" i.e. retaining a fringe providing nesting habitat/cover for Little Grebe etc. but not being allowed to spread over the open water area. The other "tall stuff" (top pic) is Common Reed and this will be allowed to colonise approximately 40% of this shallow pond with a very indented water/reed interface. This pond was formerly wall-to-wall reedmace (and drying out due to dead vegetation accumulation) and the reedmace was removed in 2003 using a JCB, increasing the water depth. The southern edge was planted with Common Reed from Leighton Moss in 2004 and, as you can see, it is doing very well. This pond is superb for dragonflies with for e.g. three-figure counts of 4-spotted Chaser and last year it hosted a Yellow-winged Darter

The other main task was to retain the status quo of scattered willow and hawthorn scrub in the northern section of the western marsh, THE best site for Grasshopper Warbler in this area. Every third willow bush in was coppiced and the branches further chopped to form habitat piles.
Anyone wishing to take part in any conservation work, please contact Reuben (see left of the page) - management days are regular on a Thursday and the first Sunday of the month but please ring first to make sure. Thanks to the EA team and everyone else who has helped with conservation work.
Heysham Obs
Just a few titbits in passing today - the only systematic search was in early afternoon for any NHW Purple Sandpipers and this was negative.

A Seal spp. pup was located along the NHW mid-afternoon but could not be found later on - possibly more to come on this.

Bird sightings comprised:
2nd W Med Gull patrolling the NHW late afternoon
Two Ravens on the pylons by the office mid-morning
Siskin over the office late afternoon

Ad Yellow-legged Gull still at Glasson - surely this is not the returning late summer bird breaking the habit of a lifetime? Purple Sandpiper still at Morecambe Stone Jetty - seen 1245hrs. NNEW Great White Egret