The Safari hasn't been able to get out as much we we'd like this week. Today we got a slightly longer look at Patch 2 than yesterday but yesterday we did see a Curlew land on the beach which when we checked our records discovered we'd forgotten to add it to our Year List (121; P2 #36).
At Base Camp in the evening the first Lesser Black Backed Gull (Garden #22) flew over.
Today the beach offered us the best count of Sanderling of the season, 250, there'll be more to come in the next few weeks. A single Dunlin was with them but there could have been a few others in the most distant groups. A Knot (P2 #37) was bullied off its shellfish finds by the outfall pipe. Sadly this is going to be removed and replaced with a buried pipe, better for water quality but there'll be no 'reef' structure and no swirling silty mud for the waders to probe in - quite disappointing really, they call it progress we guess. There may be the opportunity for some rock armour but it'll all be below the lowest spring tide mark.
Our side of the wall a pile of wind-blown sand dampened by the overnight rain had several trails from Sea Slaters, we've not seen one yet this year but they must be about.
We were going to have a rant about hedgerows and how their current management may or may not be beneficial to wildlife, focusing on some farmland breeding birds but not exclusively, there's wintering birds, there's small mammals, hedgehogs, bats, a multitude of invertebrates, wildflowers.
There's also the requirements of cross compliance for farmers to access their payments and there are regulations they have to abide to for the different levels of Stewardship.
But it's not only farmers that have hedgerows, there's Highways hedges and garden hedges too although the latter have barely any rules governing them.
Here's a few pics of some local hedgerows - over to you - discuss amongst yourselves
|Better but gappy an lacking low cover|
|Gappy but wide enough to give some decent cover|
|This one hasn't been touched for at least 25 years, has had Long Eared Owls roosting in it|
|May! How many berries will there be in the autumn?|
|He's just cut off all the flowering wood - numpty but there's no law against it, he's 'tidying up'. If only he had had some natural history education through his school years.|
|Another one trimmed just before the flowers opened - this time by 'professional' landscape gardeners. And we wonder why the various pollinator species are suffering|
|We used to have a Privet hedge, nowhere near as big as this. Yes it was a bit wild and wooly but the birds, bees and butterflies loved it.|
|It's very drastic at the time|
On our drive up the motorway the other day we saw some nice lengths of hedge-laying - excellent stuff. But on the other side of the carriage way was some that had been done a couple of years ago and sadly now was flailed to a 1 metre square 'tube' with a tiny amount of 'cover' confined to the top couple of inches when the cut stems had resprouted before being cut off again - we've seen this on several occasions locally - sad.Where to next? More brief Patch 2 stuff tomorrow.
In the meantime let us know who's making tracks in your outback.