Monday, 14 February 2011

Some Birds, Three Moths and some Laurels

A sunny morning as I opened up the hides, on Ibsley Water 71 black-tailed godwit were on Gull Island and a pair of oystercatcher. This pair of oystercatcher is probably the same one that nested there last year as they are long-lived birds. At the Ivy North hide a bittern was showing quite well, later two were reported, one large and one small, the smaller one flying off to the right of the hide.

Although the night was cold the moth trap did catch three moths once again, micro which flew off, a chestnut and a satellite, pictured below.
I spent most of the day either doing paperwork or clearing laurel bushes, as such I saw rather little wildlife myself. Others did report various sightings, including at least one black-necked grebe on Ibsley Water and a redhead smew on Ivy Lake.

The laurel clearing is part of the continuing program of works removing planted alien species. In this case planted as a screen at the time of the gravel extraction. No doubt it did the job well but it looks as though the original plan was to allow it to be replaced by a hawthorn hedge, but this never happened and the laurels have overwhelmed the thorns. As some of the thorns are still alive there is still some hope of retrieving things to a degree, so I am cutting out the laurel and a few other garden shrubs. I was also removing the tree guards that are still in place even though they are not protecting the trees now, rather they are often killing them. Sadly landscape plantings are all too often of this type, tended for the first few years then abandoned, so the intended result is never achieved. Considering the undoubted costs of these schemes it is very sad that they usually achieve so little. A combination of poor species selection and minimal aftercare following establishment, more or less ensures they have little or no landscape or wildlife value in the long term.

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