Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Fall of the mink dynasty

The kingsfishers have continued to delight following their autumnwatch stardom this week with four seperate birds reported yesterday at North Marsh. They have even managed to bring in visitors from the continent such is their celebrity power - read Tony's blog for full details.

Further to the 'white winged gull' on D res below - it has not been reported since, although an albino common gull has been reported at Hornsea Mere - thanks to Derrick at HVWG for the info.

The weeks biggest highlight was the discovery of a group of corn bunting at Hempholme Lock by Jeff Barker - hopefully we can pick them up in the reserve some time. Green sandpiper was on the river on Sunday too, with a redshank on South Marsh East today. Marsh harrier and peregrine have returned numerous sightings, with the sparrowhawks as big a pest as ever on the feeders. Tawny's have been fairly conspicuous around the reserve at the moment too - one being mobbed in the Norway spruces of the car park on several occasions. A drake pintail was was also on Watton during Monday.

This week has also seen the last few swallows departing - 2 being seen yesterday over South Scrub heading south - the very last?

The fungi walk was very successful - some of Mervyn's photos are to follow in the next post, but yesterday I snapped this shaggy inkcap:

And an unknown sp without further research:

Thanks to Doug for finding us some showy examples - last week he managed to snap this crab spider attempting to sneak up on a lime speck pug caterpillar:

The next event will be the roost walk on the 31st of October at 4pm - no booking required - to view the gull, corvid, geese, curlew and potentially starling roosts:

Some of you may have seen the various habitat works going on around the southern site. The back-to-back hides are now open and sport new disabled access plus two new dragonfly / newt ponds to develop over next year. Likewise two ponds which were disappearing on east scrub have been deepened to ensure they remain productive in future.

We have also been clearing much willow scrub from South Marsh West with thanks to the band of volunteers who have been assisting. This is to stop it turning into woodland and keep it as an open reed bed habitat - favouring the bittern which should hopefully arrive soon, along with many warbler species for next year. If you would like to help out we would be very appreciative - we meet every Sunday at 10am, and also some Wednesdays and Thursdays - ring for details on 01377 270690.

Clearing the scrub revealed the den of one of our most feared predators today - the mink. The mink in the film below has since been removed from site, but it is always handy to know their lair so we can prepare for the next one. The tunnel was littered with many duck feathers:

Also in the video is a stoat and a squirrel demonstrating it's vertical take off abilities!