Today the Beechcroft team and I headed to Hookheath to start our summer battle on the invasive weed, Himalayan Balsam. Pulling so early in the season meant it was harder to find but we didn’t have to tackle the jungle of other vegetation, although the Balsam does have a habit of growing in amongst the stinging nettles. It will be a few more days work before most of the balsam is pulled out, but we certainly made a great start in trying to control this years growth. As we were hard at work a female Mandarin duck kept flying around the area, presumably tending to her chicks nearby. Mandarin chicks have been spotted in previous years going up and down the stream here.
All this talk of non-natives, paints Hookheath in a bad light, nothing could be further from the truth; its looking great at the moment and our grazing regime seems to be doing all the right things with plenty of diversity found in the grassland. Southern Marsh and Common spotted Orchids are putting on a good show and are just coming into flower in good abundance.
Farlington Bird News: All very slow with little being sighted. Spoonbills have been spotted a few times on either the marsh or the deeps. Other interesting sightings have been a pair of Redshank with a chick.