I arrived at the Marsh to be greeted by a fine day and scenes of random vandalism, in the form of fencing materials scattered about, a section fence pulled out and a field gate pulled from the gateway into North Marsh and the hinges gone, why anyone would want two field gate hinges I have no idea. As usual the clearing up and replacing of damaged parts was more hassle than the actual loss of property, I had to go and get new hinges and fit them. I don’t know quite when it happened, everything was a fine when I left on Saturday and I would guess that Sunday was busy providing lots of potential witnesses so I imagine it was yesterday, if anyone can help out with this I would be pleased to hear from you.
The Stream in front of the Building was being visited by groups of brent geese coming to bathe before heading off to graze and I got one or two pictures as I waited for the volunteers to arrive.
A fine sunny day on the Marsh and an ideal day for a volunteer work party, although the wind was a bit sharp. We were working in the area around the spring where we had some shelter and could enjoy the sunshine. The task was coppicing the sallows and taking off some of the lower branches from the alders and fallen limbs of crack willow. The idea being to reduce the shading of the fen and reed habitat and keep the willows manageable. This area is very good for insects in the summer with a good range of habitat, shelter and a warm southerly aspect (I should have been an estate agent!).
Removing the lowest branches of the alders should get more light into the stream and banks which should make the habitat better for water voles. The sallows need to be coppiced regularly or they will just take over the fen habitats, we aim to do them at two or three years of growth, when they are still quite easy using handtools.
I had to go off at lunchtime to buy the new hinges and when I got back I ate my sandwiches at the Building and was entertained by coot and teal feeding and sunning themselves along the Stream.
I then went to fit the new hinges, a flock of brent were feeding right by the gate and these walked off a little way when I started work but did not fly away.
Unfortunately I had to bash the bolts into the gate post using a lump hammer, which was, understandably, too much for them.
With all that was going on it was not much of a day for seeing wildlife, but I did see the pale-bellied brent in North Marsh and there were calling bearded tit and Cetti’s warbler near the Building, I also added one species top my yearlist, a golden plover flying about with a flock of lapwing, although I hear there were about 35 near the Deeps. Other reports received included both slavonian and black-necked grebes off the Point, 2 peregrine and a merlin hunting over the Harbour and 2 raven around the Deeps.