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Friday, 10 April 2009

Corton comes up trumps again but Fisher Row decimated


A Good Friday afternoon visit to Corton New Sewage works produced little in the way of migrants save for a singing Chiff- Chaff. However, up to 15 Peacock, 2 Small Tortoiseshell and 5 Comma butterflies were seen in the area. 
Corton Old Sewage works weaved its magic once again this Spring, when I found a fine male White Wagtail, in the adjacent north field, I enjoyed the bird for about a minute, before it promptly flew south-east. A twittering Swallow flew just a few feet over my head and the 15 or so Sand Martins were buzzing above the cliff edge.
A Pied Wagtail perched on the southern fence of the old Sewage works compound provided a stark contrast to its continental cousin seen earlier.
A trip to Lound revealed 26 Barnacle Geese and a family party of 5 Egyptian Geese (2 adults & 3 very small goslings) and 2 overflying Swallows.
It was heartening to hear the distinctive calls of a pair of Bullfinches, aspecies that undertaken a rapid decline in the last decade both locally and nationally.
A very, very sad sight was of a dying young Grass Snake which had very recently been run over, languishing in the middle of the road, there was nothing I could do but move it to the side of the road. Such a pity.
An evening visit to Fisher Row, revealed more migrants with 5 singing Willow Warblers and 5 Blackcaps with one male showing quite well for a change. 2 Stock Doves were seen in a tree near the horse paddocks, with several Great Spotted (seen) & Green Woodpeckers heard. 
The hoped for Grasshopper Warbler was heard  singing its distinctive reeling song like the freewheeling on a bicycle or the reeling in of a fishing line.
However, the biggest shock was the number of trees and bushes (I would agree that 90% of the bush growth adjacent to the riverbank needed to be taken out) taken out at the river end with a desert of mud extending from the river bank north to about 50 metres towards the marsh. This work is being undertaken to stop flooding by the Broads Authority, but why do it on a nature reserve during the worst possible time; the breeding season? Why disturb the breeding birds and Voles at this time & why oh why cut the few remaining trees down? The prospects for seeing Cuckoos here will be diminished yet further, a bird that was a guarantee when visiting the Reserve in Spring/ Summer during it's heyday in the 1980's (when it had some trees!!!) 

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