I know it’s been a while since our last blog but with everything else going on and Easter etc we kept putting it off.
I suppose the best news lately is the sighting of the first Yellow Wagtails and Swallows on the reserve, great to see them back, summer must be around the corner.
On a more serious point the Environment Agency has very recently given us a temporary extension to our abstraction licence for Windmill Creek, this is great news for us but also means we are refuelling pumps and coping with breakdowns and burst pipes on a daily basis. As you are all aware the drought conditions has meant we have been unable to take any water from the creek since before last summer as the water level has been some 40cm lower than normal. So with the little splash of rain we have had over the last week and the water being pumped from the creek onto the eastern end of the reserve we should be able to maintain wet areas for the breeding waders. With a bit of careful management of the water we should be able to put some into the reservoir as well.
We have started the annual Lapwing nest monitoring survey, this is conducted twice a week and is very time consuming but will ensure we keep an eye out for any problems which may affect the overall productivity of our birds. When out doing the survey we have noticed an increase in Redshank nesting although the number of Lapwing nests is slightly down on last years figure taken at the same date but its early days so they may pick up and get down to the business of having young.
We should being getting some livestock on site at anytime now, our graziers are planning to start bring cattle back in small numbers so that we don’t over graze the grass which is just starting to recover now that the soil temperature has risen.
Visitors to Capel Fleet will have noticed the new resting point bench installed as part of Swale Borough Council’s circular walk around Leysdown, I hasten to add that we had no input into the design of the bench but the new surface to the viewing mound has smartened things up. A replacement information graphic board has just been delivered and will be installed in the next week or so.
We are both away for different parts of April and May and although not together regular visitors may not see too much of us around. Rest assured one of us will be on site doing our best to keep Elmley as good as we can.
Nick and Lyndsey your Assistant Wardens at Elmley.