I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.
As some of our visitors might have realized, we’ve fenced some of the WW2 structures inside our reserve. We had some maintenance work around them which disturbed the soil; until the grass recovers we want to keep the cattle out of there, hence the posts and barbed wire. These changes have been highly welcomed by the cattle which enjoys of a good scratch against the fence.
Now that the breeding season is finished, small passerine birds are starting to gather into flocks that feed together. Pay attention around the reserve and you might be able to spot flocks of up to 300 goldfinches flying together to the thistle patches around Powderham marshes. These handsome little birds have specially designed long bills that allow them to feed from the otherwise well protected thistle seeds.
During the last month we’ve been visiting Labrador Bay to do some ragwort pulling. This is important to prevent it from dominating the area and keep a mixture of vegetation on the reserve. Also, ragwort is toxic for cattle and has the ability to spread to other fields with ease. That’s why it’s part of our legal duties to keep it under control and we are making sure we are making sure we stay at the top of it.
On our last blog we mentioned that we were about to have some big works at Bowling Green Marsh, the building of a new scrape. Now, the works have finished and the result is spectacular with a new scrape right in front of the hide and two new islands. We are hoping that these changes help to bring the roosting birds closer to the hide for the enjoyment of our visitors. On the other hand, the islands will provide new nesting places for ducks. Overall, a lot of changes but we are all happy with the work and the unexpected early results we have obtained. Wood, green and common sandpipers have been seen in the new bits of the scrape, extremely close to the hide, for the delight of our team and local birders.
Now, I would like to remind everyone that we have the lookout at Bowling Green Marsh open every weekend from 11-1pm and 2-4pm and during the summer holidays we also open 2-4pm every weekday. We’ll be serving tea and coffee and we have prepared activities with a different theme for each week.
More information about the summer activities at the following link: https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/find-a-reserve/reserves-a-z/reserves-by-name/b/bowlinggreenmarsh/events.aspx
Saul Alonso Aradas
Residential volunteer at the Exe Estuary Reserves.