August is often the quietest months for birds at Langford, with most either recovering from the rigours of the breeding season, skulking away whilst moulting, or starting to pack up their bags preparing to head southwards for the winter, following the sunshine:
... September on the other hand is a more lively time from a bird point of view. Hobbies will start moving through again catching dragonflies over the reedbed, migrating wading birds will start using the reserve as a re-fuelling station and there's always the chance of something more unusual. Highlights so far this September have included 17 ringed plovers, 2 great white egrets, 5 curlew sandpipers, 2 spotted redshanks, 2 garganey and a black tern. A willow emerald damselfly and good numbers of small red-eyed damselflies have also been reported recently, both being species only recorded for the first time at Langford last year.
The two spotted redshanks photographed by John Elwell
Sunflowers in the winter bird seed plot by Stuart Carlton
The sluices funded by DPD were successfully installed at the end of August, with the next larger project being to re-vamp the two old silt lagoons to the south of the Beach Hut, these recently came into our ownership and are totally full of silt and dried up. The plan is to try and introduce some topographical variety within them, to scrape back vegetation creating bare areas and to finally wet them up, thereby creating wader feeding habitat, as well as some more areas of wet reed to act as an elevated refuge during times of flooding. Ultimately these areas will succeed to wet woodland, but between now and then, additional wet reedbed and wader areas are an excellent complement to the other habitats on site.
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