Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Potholes no more

The big news at Blashford today was not of birds or beast and may not seem that big, if you don't go there often, but I assure you it is. The entrance track dried out enough for us to fill the potholes. Ok so this may not seem that big a deal, but I have been waiting to do this job since the autumn, thwarted constantly by rain or sometimes frost. Three of Blashford's finest (some of the Thursday volunteers forming a break-away Tuesday group) spent two hours breaking down the hard edges of the potholes so that the fill would bind better when the dumper loads of fill arrived not one of our usual conservation tasks but an invaluable job none the less. The picture below shows a sight I was beginning to think I was never going to see.
Despite all the excitement of gravel there were some birds. Ellingham Pound scored again, this time with a duck Red-crested Pochard, probably the last of the group influx from earlier in January. The Smew was seen again on Rockford Lake, although I did not see it on a brief look in the afternoon. Also reported were the 11 White-fronted Geese first seen on Sunday and again yesterday, today they apparently they flew in for a short time in mid morning with a party of Greylag. First thing this morning there were 2 Black-tailed Godwits on Ibsley Water, there have been thousands in the Avon Valley recently.

Around the Woodland hide and Centre good numbers Siskins, Lesser Redpolls and at least 6 Brambling were at the feeders.

At dusk I counted 2900 Black-headed Gulls at the Ibsley roost along with 50+ Common Gulls and perhaps 800 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

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