Sorry the blog has been a like a bad fence recently, no posts. I have been rather restricted in my movements thanks to a cold so I have not been getting out into the field. Today was no exception really, but I did venture out to Havant to attend the meeting of the Advisory Committee to Langstone Harbour Board. This gave me the opportunity to stop for lunch at Southmoor where I could look out over the Harbour and part of the reserve from the car.
The western field at Southmoor is one we took over about ten years ago now and have been trying to manage so that it becomes more like the kind of grazed fields we have on Farlington Marshes. At first it was a very dense sward of tussocky, coarse grasses, thistles and ragwort. After few years of grazing and some cutting, the removal of some planted alien trees it is starting to look more the part. It has a scatter of consolidated anthills, the grass is shorter and there are a few brent grazing. In fact today I saw 41 dark-bellied brent geese on the field and even when they got flushed they only stayed away for a few minutes so it seems it is now an established grazing site.
Looking into the Harbour I could see at least 8 black-necked grebe and 2 scaup, the birds that are often to be seen on the Hayling Oyster Beds. Otherwise a few red-breasted merganser and goldeneye largely completed the scene on the water.
The RSPB are due to start work on a further shingle recharge on the islands to hopefully provide a ridge high enough above the tides to provide a safe nesting site for little terns, time will tell.