Paths to Wildlife

A busy few days, either working with the volunteers or on a chainsaw course, has meant that I have not really had time to look around the reserve or hear many reports from those that have.

As it happens it seems there has been little change. The ferruginous duck is still present and frequenting the group of sticks at the end of Long Spit in Ibsley Water and, when not there, on the long Spit itself, although often only visible from Goosander hide. The wood sandpiper is also still around, although now often on the eastern shore of the lake between Goosander and Lapwing hides. There are still 2 green sandpiper, a common sandpiper and a dozen or so wigeon. Both great white egret remain. The only new bird that I was aware of today was a single black-tailed godwit on the western shore of Ibsley Water.

With the volunteers were have been cutting the shore west of Goosander hide and the site of the former concrete block works to keep the habitat suitable for nesting lapwing next spring. We have also been working on the paths between Goosander and Lapwing hides. In all we have something like 8 kilometres of paths on the reserve and keeping them in a reasonable state takes quite a bit of time and effort. We also like to try to keep them interesting - not just routes from A to B, but ones on which you might come across things of interest. Today we were clearing the paths, but also opening up the edges to provide sheltered clearings and making a sand bank for solitary bees to nest.

I am keen to try and get the management of the reserve always to  maximise the opportunities for all kinds of wildlife, both because this makes it a more interesting place  to visit and because our beleaguered wildlife needs all the opportunities it can get.