Saturday, August 19, 2006

France family holiday - back in 2 weeks!

I leave any visitors to my site with this Red Kite taken near Barnack

Friday, August 18, 2006

This patch of fringed water lily was found on Eldernell Wash 200mtrs from moretons leam where it is a scarce plant. The strange thing is this ditch was dry last year untill it was cleared out and re-connected to the summer water supply.

Common Darter A bright individual.

Brown winged hawkers are very common at present, though their wings are getting very tatty, this one was ovi-positing along a heavily poached margin - carefully placing its eggs just below the waters surface, appearing to push the eggs into the soft peat.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

25 more Corncrakes released on Nene Washes

Pics from this morning's corncrake release. Is it me or does the Nikon coolpix 4500 have a delayed reaction!!! Today we released a further 25 young crex's all around 5 weeks of age, bringing this years releases to 64. The above pics are of one leaving its bag very quickly - next time I'll get the head end and paste it on! Measurements are taken of head&bill, wing length, wax on primary sheath (to see how much growing remains). The vet from Whipsnade checks for general condition of bare parts, heart beat and body fat reserves.
Todays birds were in excellent condition making very good weights at the top of the range for the captive breeding stock. The final release of 2006 will be next week.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Corncrake friendly Topping

Most corncrake field management refers to Hay-making, on the Nene it now applies to general pasture topping where the vegetation has been left un-managed until after August 1st to benefit corncrake breeding. The basic principle is to mow from the centre of the field outwards pushing the birds to the margin, which is left un-cut, - the above picture illustrates a former hay-field cut this morning. Typically in Aug/Sept large numbers of swallows feast upon the flushed insects, sand and house martin and 2 swifts also joined in today easy pickings.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Small Red-eyed damselfly at Eldernell sluice

Red-Eyed Damselfly

Small Red-Eyed Damselfly

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Snipe chick 2/3rds grown. A few snipe will breed into August, this individual ran out in front of the tractor whilst topping thistles at the edge of a rush marsh

Because the bird had run out into the cut area I decided to move it back to the safety of rush cover, the chance of a close-up pic was irresistable.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Corncrake Reintroduction at Nene Washes

Corncrake Re-introduction Project
So far in 2006 28 young have been released, our expected total is around 80.

this large chick! became slightly tame (the only one out of 80!) and has consequently developed at above average speed - at 28 days old its as heavy as most adults.

This chick is 14 days of age.

They gain about 4 grams each
day and can fly at around 32 days.