Saturday, 2 April 2011

A Nice Blog

It was pleasantly warm and sunny walking round the reserve earlier this morning, despite a blustery wind.
These calves with their parents were enjoying the morning at Capel Corner.

I stopped off at the Raptor Viewing Mound along the Harty Road but it was all very quiet, just a few Bearded Tits in the reed beds and some Marsh Harriers circling overhead.

Walking round the reserve itself it was obvious that the White-fronted Geese flock finally seems to have decreased in size, I could only find 40 and there were no others to be seen on the surrounding marsh, so presumably they've started heading north to breed. I did however come across my first Wheatear of the Spring, a nice female bird.
On the farmland alongside the reserve this tractor was turning over the remains of last years cover strips. These cover strips are to be found round the perimeters of most of the arable fields on Harty. They are re-sown every Spring with a mixture of maize, barley, millet and other seeds and as well as providing cover and food for the game birds they are of enormous benefit to finches and buntings throughout the winter. Reed Buntings in particular get great help from these strips and are often found in good numbers in them. Elmley NNR have created two such strips there to sow this Spring for the benefit of their small number of Grey Partridges and the passing finches and buntings.
It makes you wonder why more nature reserves don't do the same, and learn something from the much maligned farming fraternity.

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