First few days of a new year

Well the South East team have only been back for a couple of days after the Christmas break but we’re right back into the swing of things.

Swanwick Fire

Burning lop & top (branches that cannot be used for firewood)

On Monday we were at Swanwick lakes continuing with our tree thinning in North East meadow with the Beechcroft team. After a good couple of months on this project, this area is looking really good now and much more like a meadow than a woodland – it will look great come springtime!

Sky full of heavy showers

Sky full of heavy showers

Yesterday we were trying to dodge heavy showers at Farlington with the volunteer team doing a good site audit with some litter picking on the side. Walking around the sea wall was a tad exposed when the rain clouds descended, but it was a great vantage point to look into the marsh to check on everything and we could also see what birds were about too. Unfortunately there was no sign of the Spoonbill (last reported on 4th Jan) or unsurprisingly the Bewick’s swans (reported on 28th Dec), but there were at least 30 Pintail hunkered down on the southern shores of the lake. I must confess I didn’t hang around to count the females which were in amongst the Wigeon as the howling wind was causing my binoculars to shake around and the rain soaking my trousers put me off standing around too long at the view point. At lunch we had great views of the male Marsh harrier which looked like the same well marked individual I had seen at the start of December.

Fortunately Farlington didn’t suffer any winter storms like last Christmas, but still, overtopping is proving a problem to the seawall. The picture below shows the damage that small overtopping occurrences can do and unfortunately will continue to do so as long as sea levels continue to rise.

Seawall Erosion

Seawall Erosion

I hope you managed to get out over the Christmas & New Year period. Charlie a Farlington visitor, took these great photos on a walk around on Christmas day. Please keep the photos coming if you see anything you would like to share.

Widgeon & Mallard -  ©Charlie Annalls

Wigeon & Mallard – ©Charlie Annalls

Stonechat - ©Charlie Annalls

Stonechat – ©Charlie Annalls

Cheeky Fox - ©Charlie Annalls

Cheeky Fox – ©Charlie Annalls

If you enjoy taking pictures why not enter the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust photography competition? All the details can be found at – http://www.hiwwt.org.uk/photocomp. Good luck!

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