Wednesday, 27 February 2008

The rush to beat the spring

With buds beginning to burst and birds already building nests, the race is on to to complete a long list of management tasks before the spring arrives properly.

Last week the Friends organised a work party to clear vegetation on the two islands in the Sailing Lake, ready for tern nesting season. Gulls are already showing interest and there are lapwings, oystercatchers, snipe, redshanks and geese using the islands right now. We also saw a very tame vole and found a harvest mouse nest. In the same week, a work party on the arable found lots of harvest mice in our corn-ricks.

In Rory's Wood we have been dead-hedging around the edges to make the place look a bit more cared for after a programme of felling Turkey oaks, and after the winter storms. This should help with the regeneration of brambles which are important for butterflies and birds.

Bird-wise it was a good week with a Cetti's warbler singing in Hayling Carr and bramblings, fieldfares and Lapland buntings with other finches and skylarks just north of us at Stirtloe.