Thursday, 27 September 2012


It doesn't seem like 5minutes ago when I sat down and wrote the last blog post, but a whole week has passed!
I've been staying at Rutland a few nights this week so I've been absent from the interweb and haven't had much chance to blog! The camera stayed at home this week too so all photos in this post were taken on the Galaxy, just like last week!

As indicated last week, more island work has been undertaken this week, starting with Lagoon 7 on Tuesday. This was particularly helpful as an instructive comparison of the success of our goose-proofing of the shingle islands was to be had. To explain further, we have issues at Rutland with the geese wandering onto our nice shingle islands, shitting everywhere and causing opportunistic weeds to sprout in their thousands, ruining the potential LRP breeding habitat. To combat this, pegs have been put on the islands around the shingle, joined by string - the idea is that the string prevents the geese from having enough space to land or take off on the islands, keeping them goose free!

This a photo of one of the goose-proofed islands on Lagoon 7, the pegs and string are just about visible.

And this is the island next to it, without the goose-proofing. Can you guess which one took longer to weed!?

Today though, I joined the team from Travis Perkins that do a monthly volunteer day here. The group is made up of mostly retired civil engineers with about a million years of professional experience between them and today we tasked them with removing uneccessary Osprey screening from Manton Bay and re-installing it along the path that runs alongside Lagoon 8 towards Kingfisher Hide as unfortunately the newly planted hedge isn't thick enough to prevent people using the path from flushing everything on the lagoon.

Travis Perkins erecting some screening - a fine job they did too

A bit more animal work was undertaken this week too, this is Woody the Hebridean Lamb who was bottle-fed and in the picture is trying to decide if Samsung Galaxys are edible.....

Whilst the Dexter cattle on Lagoon 2 were in favour of some synchronised-feeding.

Lets talk a bit about birds eh? This lovely Grebe has been cruising around the North Arm all week, often giving excellent views from our workyard although I have witnessed a few idiots trespassing in an attempt to see the bird - please stop.

Black-necked Grebe
Aside from the Grebe there hasn't been a great deal of interest on the reserve (in terms of Autumn waders anyway!), the winter ducks are still trickling in and the weather patterns look great for a rare warbler at the minute, but have yet to materialise into anything better than a few Chiffchaff dotted around. Marsh Harrier sightings have tailed off this week too, although a couple of Hobby are still lingering. Lagoon 4 still has its handful of Dunlin and Ringed Plovers but the hoped-for (and desired for my county list) Pec Sand is yet to materialise. Two Raven were also over Manton Bay briefly this morning.

EDIT: completely forgot to mention the double person-tick I managed this week.

Firstly (and most importantly) I managed to life tick the Beast lurking in one of the hides on Lag4 after work one day this week - very nice to put a face to one of the blogs I read regularly. Whereas on Thursday afternoon a sighting was made of Ken Clarke, roaming the area around the new lagoons, presumably looking for something else to tax.

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