On a very misty morning the Thursday work party set about cutting back the gorse to improve the view at the lay-by east of the reserve entrance. The gorse bushes all along the marsh were laced with spiders’ webs threaded with beads of moisture. 

The mist was so thick that we couldn’t see the shore where waders roost at high tide, but suddenly we heard the call of whooper swans and six of them emerged from the mist to fly right over us. Magic! Later three more flew over. They were first whoopers many of us had seen this autumn;

 it’s always great to welcome them back again. The barnacle geese are back too in some numbers, and it’s good to have them here again for the winter, even if we can’t always find them. They play hard to get, turning up sometimes on the reserve, other times in different parts of the surrounding area.

The mist lifted during the morning and it turned into a lovely Autumn day. After it cleared twelve whoopers were spotted on the shore and by lunchtime we had restored the view from the layby. 

After we had eaten our lunch we made an interesting discovery. This diminutive rose, no more than two feet high, must have been here on the verge for a long time, but none of us had ever noticed it here before. There were still a few white flowers left and with its tiny leaves, black hips and spreading habit it had to be the burnet rose. It extended for several yards along the verge but must have been hidden under the gorse until we cut it back. We will certainly look out for it next year