Monday, 13 September 2010

Confused Willows

I know hazel can be contorted, but just now Blashford seems to have confused willows. Several of the small willows growing in the bank around the main car park have started to produce catkins, something they should do in the early spring. They also seem to have produced a new flush of leaves. I think the cause is the drought, or rather the rain that has followed. In the dry spell several of them lost most of their leaves and with the rain they have greened up again, perhaps this leaf loss followed by fresh growth has fooled them into a false Spring.
Apart from eccentric willows it was a very quiet day. Early in the day there were something like 400 house martin over Ibsley Water, as they tend to they were in a tight group and gradually flying higher and higher before moving off south. By contrast the swallows on the move were in scattered groups moving at about twice tree top height into the wind. I saw only one sand martin today and no swifts, although the day felt right for one somewhere. Waders were very few, in fact I saw only a single common sandpiper. Disturbance in the valley resulted in an influx of greylag, with the single bar-headed goose and also of grey herons with one little egret, but no sign of the great white egret. The adult grey heron in the picture was beside the Goosander hide in the late morning.
The cormorant continue to feed on Ibsley Water in great flocks, in between feeding they rest on the islands and I counted 182 at one point around lunchtime. The majority are young birds, one of today's had a colour ring engraved with, well I don't know what, it was just too far away. The only one I have managed to read was ringed as a nestling in the Bristol Channel.

No comments:

Post a Comment