Thursday, 16 May 2013

Moving On - Nicer Bits

Just one last addition to my little rant in the last posting, this Coot's nest had seven eggs at the weekend, today as you can see, it now three. The reason is laying on the bank alongside, as pictured below, a the eggs have been removed and eaten almost certainly by crows, I doubt there will be any left by Saturday. It raises concerns in respect of the Avocets that we have nesting on the reserve, which are very vulnerable to both crows and foxes, I've sat out there before and watched a fox working through a colony picking up eggs as it goes. It's heartbreaking to loss a whole year's breeding success to these pests and despite the fact that we have trapped a good number of crows this Spring, new ones continue to appear.

Moving on, before it starts to get boring, and the reserve looked great this morning, at last I wasn't having to battle round in gale-force winds. This last five months must of been one of the windiest periods for some years. The grass is growing well, perhaps too well in places and as a result we have two small herds of cattle and calves at either end of the reserve. Can you imagine their sheer joy that first morning in real, green meadows after a winter penned into the stock yards. They will endeavour to keep the grass to a manageable height and in the process supply the Dung Flies with plenty to feed on and the flies will then feed the various birds out there, a nice food chain.

The phragmites beds along the Delph Fleet are also springing into life and these green shoots grow at an incredible rate, several centimetres a day, and even as I took the photo two Reed Warblers were singing their heads off at the rear.

Continuing the Springtime feel, the saltings on the other side of the sea wall are doing their bit as they become clothed in the white flowers of Scurvy Grass.

Also along the sea wall were swarms of newly emerged St. Mark's Fly, a tad late this year, with St. Mark's Day being 25th April, but then so is everything else.

The sea wall itself, looking west past the new Sea Wall hide.

Two views of The Flood field from the sea wall, with water levels now diminishing fast after the drying winds of late.

The Delph Fleet looking quite serene under blue skies and no wind to rough it up.

These tiny blue flowers are Field Speedwell, in quantities that I've never seen before, they look almost like Forget-me-nots. This year round some of the wheat fields, they have appeared in great thick swathes, almost as if they've sown deliberately, perhaps they have.


  1. Might it be that by removing a resident Crow pair a vacuum is created and far more crows come in because there is no long a territorial pair? It seems that there is a huge reservoir of crows waiting to fill vacant areas.

  2. Tony,
    Your probably right but at the end of the day, whether it's the resident pair or one that's replaced them, they're still taking eggs and chicks and we'll keep on removing them until the breeding season is over.
    I saw a blog the other day with a nice photo of a young fox peeking out from behind some branches. Great for the ahh factor but not so nice when you watch a fox walking through an Avocet breeding colony cleaning up eggs as it goes. People have to work out what is more important to them, a fox being allowed to do as it likes or the successful fledging of a load of new Avocets.

  3. A nice set of photos Derek. I really love the general views of the area although it does hurt that I'm unable to appreciate them in person these days - I do have great memories though !
    Whatever else you do , please don't give up your blog which, so obviously, is that of a true countryman.
    Ken L`

  4. Ken,
    I won't be giving up the blog, or commenting on those whose deeply entrenched bias prevents them from accepting the good that groups other than wildlife societies do in the countryside.