Lots has happened since our last blog and I guess because of this, time has really flown by at the Haugh! How are we in April already?!…

 

So what’s occurring? Well, much of our time has been spent clearing up after severe flooding and generally making the reserve safe for visitors. Staff changes are once again at the fore and the Cemetery Marsh habitat creation project has been completed. Read on for more details.

 

The main issues resulting from the flooding we had in January were destroyed sections of paths, breaks in stock proof fencing and holes where there never used to be holes! Our hides were under water for a time too so there wasn’t much birding going on and one of the most frustrating aspects of all this was that brand spanking new fencing had just been finished on Cemetery Marsh, and we were looking forward to getting cattle on there in the spring.

Bits of the access route into Cemetery Marsh have been heavily damaged and we’ll need to fix that before cattle go in too.

 

Secondly, those of you that have met our Assistant Warden Paul will be sad to hear that he will be leaving us at the start of May. Paul has been a great addition to the team and he will be sorely missed. If you see him around the reserve between now and then, please wish him all the best.

 

As mentioned earlier, the Cemetery Marsh project is now complete. Trees have been removed, pools have been created and fencing has been erected. The new lie of the land will hopefully prove attractive to wildlife of all kinds, especially ducks and wading birds over the coming months and years.

This aerial image shows the new pools and the more open aspect afforded to any wildlife using the area.

In our weekly volunteer sessions, we've been cracking on as usual. Recently we finished remedying quite a tricky bit of drainage at the bottom of the paddocks which was damaging the path and leaving standing water. A rewarding task, but pretty back breaking work. Well done team!

So, what’s been about recently wildlife-wise? Lots of summer migrants are here – blackcap, chiffchaff and willow warbler are all singing their wee heads off and swallows and sand martins have both been seen hawking over the wetland. There was even a swift reported on 9th April which is pretty early for this species! All this bodes well for our next event at the reserve - a dawn chorus on 12th May. We still have places available, so if you're keen to come along, get in touch through the usual ways.

See you at the reserve.

Mark.

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