Yesterday I spent the morning working with a group of volunteers form A Rochra clearing a Rhododendron clump near the entrance to the reserve. This is one invasive alien species that is actually not common on the reserve, there is only the only large patch and I decided the time had come to remove it, or at least to make a start. At the start of the day the weather was awful, with rain followed by a vicious hailstorm and I thought we would have real problems even starting the task. As it turned the rain stopped and it was dry, if overcast and we got a good area cleared.
The TV in the lobby of the Centre featured 15 or more Brambling at times, but as well as "Woodlandcam" we can also now show "Pondcam", the images are also streamed on the web, although the slow connection means that the latter is the best, the birds move too fast to make good picture a lot of the time, the address is mms://wms.carnyxlive.co.uk/blashford .
I saw little of particular note, but I did get reports of the Smew on Rockford, a Mediterranean Gull on Ibsley Water and a Common Sandpiper heard flying over. I am not so sure about the reported Firecrest, there seemed some uncertainty in some quarters that it was not a Goldcrest, however I would be delighted to be wrong.
Just a few days to go until the first Sand Martins now, perhaps by next weekend they will be in, skimming over Ibsley Water and Little Ringed Plovers should be along at about the same time.