Monday, 10 October 2011

Flying in and Flowing Through

Bird News: Ibsley Water - dunlin 3, little stint 1, swallow 50, house martin 5.
Centre Area - lesser redpoll 1+,
The moth trap contained a couple of migrant species this morning, a rusty dotted pearl, which is basically small and in shades of brown and the much more attractive vestal.
In fact it was quite warm today and this made it pretty good for insects, a few red admiral and speckled wood butterflies were about and several southern hawker dragonflies were near the Centre.
I was briefly beside the Dockens Water, the New Forest stream that passes through the reserve on its way to meet the River Avon. It winds through the trees with alternating shallow riffles and deep pools. On the way it passes an old World War II blast shelter, a refuge for maintenance crews in the event of an air raid.
The Dockens Water has not always looked as it does today, the section in the picture is actually a man made course cut in 2005. Initially it was all the same depth and width, but time has allowed it to establish a very natural look, with all the characteristics of a natural stream.
The previous course was straightened and in many places had the banks made up with concrete block walls. This was keep the water on the "straight and narrow" and get it through the site as quickly as possible and keep it well away from the gravel pits being dug at the time. The last thing you would want if you were working five or six metres down in a gravel quarry is a New Forest stream in spate rushing in on you.
Today was the quiet day of the week, the rest of the week there will be volunteers working on the reserve everyday and we also have schools visiting and a guided walk. I also have a couple of meetings to look forward to. Still the weather seems set fair so we should get a good bit done and even the meetings might be productive, with a bit of luck.

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