Autumn 2010 to Winter 2011
19 March 2011
For what seemed like the first time in many months, we worked under blue skies and in warm sunshine. As birds are now beginning to nest the work is changing from cutting back reeds and scrub to maintenance tasks. We therefore spent the day filling in pot holes in the paths around the lakes. To keep the material in place it was stamped down but the rangers will be using a roller to make sure the material stays where it should.
The park is alot more colourful with blackthorn in blossom and coltsfoot flowering. Pictures of these are posted in the gallery. If you look at the tern island on the main lake you may see it covered in white birds. These are not terns but gulls, hopefully when the terns come in late April/early May they should be able to move the terns on and successfully nest. There will be a special feature on teh website when the terns come with pictures (video if possible) and details of eggs laid, young hatched etc.
05 March 2011The day was spent improving footpaths around the park by laying down wood chip.
Noted wildlife sightings in the park have been skylarks, a sparrowhawk near the information centre and a number of common gulls, which despite their name are not that common, particularly inland.
19 February 2011 - morning
To improve the habitat of the butterfly, the Purple Hairstreak, we cleared scrub around some oak and ash in the plantation, near the fishing lake. The butterfly is restricted to oaks but are often hard to spot as they like to keep to the tops of the trees, where they feed on honeydew. However, as the oaks are still young and not that high, this summer would be a good time to see them.
Wildlife highlights have included sightings of waxwings. These are colourful birds and a winter visitor from Scandinavia and a sighting of a firecrest. It competes with the goldcrest for being Britain's smallest bird and is now breeding in the south east of England.
In the afternoon there was the opening of the Tern Hide. This final piece in the jigsaw now means that the Terns have an excellent breeding area, on the recently created island and everyone has a great viewing point.
The hide was opened by the former ranger James, who had the idea of the island and did alot of work getting the project off the ground.6th February 2011
We spent the day finishing off the screen next to the tern hide and building another one to screen the hide from the road. It it hoped that the Willow used in this second screen will take root to form a "living" barrier.
More pictures of the day can be found in the gallery.
21st January 2011
A change in the type of work, from clearing reeds to helping the wardens construct a screen next to the a new hide. The hide has been constructed so that good views can be had of the common terns nesting on the new tern island.
The screen is constructed from willow grown in the park and it was the first time of doing something like this, for both wardens and volunteers.
8th January 2011
We were back on the east side of the Park clearing up more reeds the wardens had cut. Again the aim is to improve the views of the lake and also the quality of the reeds.
11th December 2010
The poor weather has created a lot of holes in the footpaths and so we went round and filled in as many as we could. We only worked for a couple of hours before heading back to the park office for tea, cakes and a chat.
On the 5th there was a sighting of the park's Bittern making a welcome return for the winter. It is now an endangered species and can be difficult to see, as it is very secretive and keeps to the reeds around the park's lakes but is well worth watching out for. In the spring it makes a very distinct booming sound, you can hear an example of on the RSPB website.
27th November 2010
Again clearing reeds and tress around the lake on the eastside of the park. The aim is to open up the views to the lake for visitors and improve the growth of the reeds next year. Besides the cold weather, the onset of winter was also signalled by seeing several Redwings and Fieldfares, winter migrants from the continent. Also seen in the park during the week was a Goosander, who move from the coast to inland lakes and gravel pits for the winter.
13th November 2010
The volunteers helped the Wardens clear a small lake, adjacent to the main lake on the east side of the park, it had become full of rushes and willow. Unfortunately, willow can suck up a lot of water and if left, would have dried out the lake. With the work we have done, hopefully in the summer there will be an open space of water ready for wildlife.