Thursday, 2 March 2017

Farmlands Works

Marcus (Site Ecologist) and Hysni finalising the plan 
Getting out on the islands 
We re-located one of the Shelduck boxes onto the raft. Very strangely we found a dead female Shelduck on the raft so removed it as probably not the best thing to entice new residents 
Part of the works was removing vegetation on the island to create a mosaic of vegetation heights and structure, retaining some small willows and areas of bramble to create areas for roosting waterbirds, nesting ducks and nesting warblers/ buntings. 
A major part of the works in controlling willows. Here we're removing the willows from the area of wet grassland. 
View over the lakes 
Tomos made Barn Owl boxes. Incredulously the local council recently cut down the tree the Barn Owls bred in last year!? ( Presumably they want to sell the field to developers and last thing they want is Barn Owls). 
 Barn Owl pellets from last year's roosting areas- we used these to scent the new boxes. 
The Barn Owl boxes going up. We've created three potential nest sites- so hopefully the Barn Owls will be back next year and the council can go and jump in the lake. 
Greylags on the lake- hopefully they will repeat last year's breeding success in the areas we've created 
Lapwings- up to 34 on the small wet grassland area in the Southern Lake. Working on the island gives us a chance to count the Snipe, Jack Snipes and Water Rails . We reckon 120 Snipe, 8-9 Jack Snipe and at least 5 Water Rails on the lakes. 
Dotted Border- the only moth we've had in the last few weeks despite various attempts at light trapping from the Obs 
Colt's Foot flowering- plenty of signs of Spring now. A Small Tortoiseshell flying around the bridge, willows bud bursting, Blackthorn and Cherry Plum flowering, snowdrops been out for ages, the first Daffs , Iris and Crocuses out in the planting areas, Dog Violet's flowering. a small passage of Stonechats (up to five), Shelducks increasing and the odd Redwing calling at night. 
Crocus at the Farmlands entrance 
A male Pheasant by the obs feeders- only the second record in the Obs garden. One of five on site. 


Marcus Kohler said...


Thanks to your team for doing a great job on the islands. Edd at Viridor was also really pleased and good that you now have the further tender approval to remove the arisings. Did we get a barn owl box on Viridor site as discussed? If not, we should look into it in addition to the ones present. give me a bell
I have access to more pellets from the local bird.

Peter Alfrey said...

Hi Marcus,
Great. Ok speak soon- will need another box if one is to go up on the Viridor side.
Cheers Marcus