I was over at Swanwick Lakes today working with two volunteer groups, the usual Monday group who work at the reserve and the Beechcroft team which had diverted there today from the intended task at Hook Heath. Looking at the weather forecast I was not sure we would even be able to do a task, but as it turned out it was not too bad. We had another day getting to grips with the cherry laurel, these have spread from a couple of groups and a hedge and we now have seedlings popping up in many areas of the woodland.
The morning was not even that cold, despite light flurries of snow as I was driving to the reserve. We went back to the Centre for lunch with rain starting to fall, as we ate the rain fell more heavily and I was uncertain as to how much we would do in the afternoon as the prediction had been for increasingly heavy rain. In fact it eased and then stopped and we worked through without a problem. There is still much to do to stop the laurels regrowing but at least much of phase one is now done.
Cutting large laurels is not very compatible with seeing much wildlife, but at lunchtime the feeders by the Centre were very busy with the usual blue and great tits joined by a few coal tit at least one marsh tit and a pair of nuthatch. On the Centre Lake a pair of gadwall had joined a couple of pairs of mallard.
Tomorrow I am at Farlington Marshes again, I hear the red-breasted goose has not been seen for a couple of days and this evening I think I know why, it or another was seen today on Thorney Island over in Sussex, so it seems probable we have been abandoned.