When we were creating the new west bank last summer, the final job was toput down a layer of topsoil to allow the vegetation to regenerate. As part of the process we lightly seeded the banks with a grass mix but we have been pleasantly surprised by the other species that have established themselves. Most of the flowering plants would have had seeds lying dormant and the disturbance has encouraged them to grow. The most obvious plant that is out at the moment is the thistles. While the majority are spear thistle there is also the smaller creeping thistle present.
Now that the spear thistles are starting to seed they have been very attractive to a large flock, or charm, of goldfinches. Up to 70 adults and juveniles have been feeding alongside the main path. The flowers have also attracted large numbers of insects including bumblebees, marmalade hoverflies, peacock and wall brown butterflies.
Water levels are looking good on the fresh marsh and now that we are in August the waders are starting to move. Dunlin numbers have been increasing over the last week with 100 last night. Mixed in with them were two curlew sandpipers, wood sandpiper, 3 green sandpipers and a dozen spotted redshanks.