Back at the end of July, the Friday volunteer crew and I had a fabulous day out on Phase 2, where we were joined by our Regional Reserves Manager Nick Droy, for a spot of reed fencing. Young reed is very susceptible to grazing by birds - most notably coot and geese. As the young shoots only have small rhizomes (and consequently, small energy stores), they find it hard to recover from constant grazing pressure. To alleviate this, we fence off a lot of our young reed, to give it a chance to put on some good growth and importantly, increase the size of it's energy stores in it's rhizomes.
We couldn't have picked a better day for the job, with the sun shining and strangely for Langford - no wind! As we worked away in the beautiful weather, we were entertained by a marsh harrier, hobby's and a beautiful water ladybird on reed stems in the middle of the island - the first I've had on site this year.
By the end of the day, we had installed over 400 metres of fencing, protecting virtually the whole of the western island of Phase 2! An amazing effort and one which will hopefully see rewards next year with increased reed growth over the whole area - another step closer to our goal of creating one of the largest reedbeds in the East Midlands!
Many thanks to Nick for joining us for a very enjoyable and productive day!
Last week was WeBS time once again and this month volunteers Stuart Carlton and Matt Marsh completed the survey. It is always a potentially exciting time, with autumn migration getting underway and this month numbers of waders are looking good. Here are this month's results....
27 tufted duck
34 mute swan
184 graylag goose
1 Canada goose
6 great crested grebe
27 little egret - highest number ever recorded on site
13 grey heron
330 lapwing - fabulous number for Langford
10 green sandpiper - again, large number for this site
8 greenshank - another good total
4 ruff - our good run of ruff records continues
1 wood sandpiper - third record this year of this scarce wader
16 black-headed gull
1 lesser black-backed gull
And it doesn't stop there - on Friday we had a juvenile black tern south over the site, only the second record in 5 years and two spotted flycatcher by the woodland, viewable from the car park this morning. Here's to more good records as the autumn passage continues!
Spotted flycatcher - beautiful birds. Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
Just a quick note to say that we have closed the floating bridge this afternoon. This is due to low water levels causing the bridge to beach. Access is still available over the boardwalk and around the rest of the Cromwell and North Trails.
For any enquiries, please do contact Jenny on 01636 893611.
We apologies for any inconvenience and will get it open again as soon as we can!