Sunday, 25 June 2017

Rewilding in action or is it just abandonment

The Safari was out on a jaunt to the big smoke on an errand with Wifey the other day. As we were leaving we noticed something seriously odd in the town centre - the row of Rowan and Whitebeam berry-laden trees that attract Waxwings when they appear had been replaced by a length of green hoarding - we should be able to see the trees showing over the top of the boards so it looks like they've all been disposed of. Not good!
Once out of town we took Monty for a run on the dunes where he had fun and we enjoyed the plethora of wild-flowers. But where were the orchids we couldn't find a single one!
After a bit of lunch we went out to Patch 1 to see if we could find any butterflies. The wind was strong and cold so not at all conducive to butterfly counting.We found a few but not as many as we would have Large Skippers, a 'possible' Small Skipper - had we been able to confirm this one it would have been the first of the year for us - three Meadow Browns, our first here but beaten by Monty's favourite field by a day and three Speckled Woods, no photos and no White Letter Hairstreaks either...yet.
We did find a medium sized dark solitary bee that we don't think we've ever noticed there before. If anyone has any clues as to what it might be we'd be grateful.
Unfortunately we only had our phone with us and this was the only pic of several that was in focus not being able to see the screen in the bright sunshine and all that.
This morning we had hoped to get to the nature reserve for the first time in a good while but when we got out of bad at 06.00 it was raining and blowing a bit. We did get out by lunchtime when the sun came out. We had a few targets in mind with one in particular. It was now warm but still breezy and keeping most birds in cover but some young birds were about including a family of Long Tailed Tits.

At the platform we heard our quarry but couldn't see it deep in the reeds. Moving down to the next hide we had a very fleeting glimpse so waited and waited a bit more before it, in fact they as there was a bit of argy-bargy going on,  came out again. Reed Warblers having a bit of a spat are tricky beasts to get a pic of.
Eventually, it was only a couple of minutes, we got a half decent shot for our Year Bird Challenge - Reed Warbler (YBC #141).   
One job done we set our sights on the other two targets. No such luck there though, one we saw briefly and the other we only heard singing briefly from deep in cover.
Other bits and pieces included the colourful Goldfinch.
and boisterous Reed Bunting.
As for the rewilding mentioned in the title we've got an interesting little bit going on. A while ago a development has changed the ground conditions making the Wet Fields drier and the lack of fencing not replaced by the developer has meant grazing by ponies (or anything else for that matter) has had to cease so that the vegetation is now left to its own devices...what will happen next, who will colonise?
It might have been Willows but the drier conditions my preclude them, it may be seed from the old Hawthorns but the tall False Oat Grass and Reed Canary Grass might stop any seedlings reaching the light.
It'll be interesting to watch what happens next and how long that will take.
Where to next? Back to work but we have school groups and Brownies in the pond and on the beach so there should be something to let you know about later in the week.
In the meantime let us know who's rewildling your outback.

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