Over the past week or so the volunteers, Steve and myself have been on a thistle bashing mission. Last Thursday I started at 0600 picking the tractor and topper up from Farlington & driving over to Southmoor. By lunch Id managed to cut most of the thistles in the most westerly field with the tractor while the hardy volunteers and Steve concentrated on cutting the thistles in trickier places where the tractor could not go.
Yesterday, at Farlington, it was much the same – thistle smacking out on the main marsh. However over lunch we did see an extraordinary amount of Curlew; between 400 – 500 were all grouped together, flying in the direction of the steam after getting pushed off the mudflats of the harbour on the rising tide.
Today I joined our ecology team in helping out with some Dormouse monitoring. We were looking at a selection of Dormouse tubes in a hazel coppice in mid Hampshire. Unfortunately we didn’t find any mice but we did find two nests so they must have been near by.
A few weeks ago we surveyed another woodland which had dormouse boxes rather than tubes. This time we were more lucky and managed to find 8 Dormice, 4 of which were in a single box which is pretty extraordinary.