Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday 11th April

A visit today between 7.30 and 9.15am. First sighting was a new bird for the year - a Peregrine shooting through. A good start to the day! I wandered through the East Scrub, a few Willow Warbler here and a snatch of Whitethroat song. An upsurge in bird calls and a Sparrowhawk shot through the scrub low and across the west scrub.
Over the railway and across to Abbeymead, wall to wall chiffies and Blackcap. Scanning Abbeymead there were hirundines everywhere - mainly Sand Martin and a few Swallow. Along the river a few lingering Teal and a Little Egret. I met Terry Laws in the sunken marsh. He'd just seen a Green Sandpiper but I couldn't relocate it. We did see a few Linnet and my first House Martin of the year, plus at least another 10 Swallow.

Walking back around Abbeymead it was shocking to see that the fishing club is carving a roadway through the scrub, in preparation for Abbeymead being fenced off for fishermen. Really sad and right in the middle of the breeding season.


At 10:20 am, Blogger Warren Baker said...

two outings back to back steve! You must have earnt some points with the missus :-)

Shame about abbet meade lake - another bit of the general area degraded :-(

At 7:15 pm, Blogger Steve said...

Ha ha....I have!

At 12:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fencing off Abbey Mead? That can't be practical! Not sure to what end though, have to maintin the rights-of-way. And I'm sure they've got the OK from Natural England?!?!?!


At 1:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just emailed Natural England to check that this work is being done with their consent.


At 2:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one seems to be praising the fishing club for having removed large amounts of rubbish from the lake and surrounding banks which they have done? Perhaps you all like it in the disgusting state its been left in over the years. I would think that if anyone is worried about whats going on they should talk to the fishing club and find out the facts, I did and think they will do a good job of keeping it rubbish free (like brooklands lake) and sounds like they WANT the birds and wild life to flourish as they have plans to put up owl boxes and nest boxes. Probably better to work with them.

At 7:10 am, Blogger Steve said...

Thanks, rubbish free is good but what is frustrating is the constant erosion of habitat around the new hythe complex. Every year there are more 'roads' and 'swims' and development. Abbeymead was the last remaining lake that isn't disturbed and to see these tracks carving through the nesting sites of Nightingales/Cettis Warbler/Lesser Whitethroat etc just as the breeding season is starting is terrible to see. It is good to hear the fishing club are putting up nest boxes but none of the species that are being affected use nest boxes.

At 11:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats a fair point Steve, and I hope the birds are not put offf by this activity. From the conversation I have with them it seems that they had wanted to do it much earlier in the year but due to the very wet weather and high lake water levels they had to put it back. I had a look at the work they have done so far and they do seem to be following the original course of the path. I have also been imformed that the lake and surrounding land is now privately owned by the club.
Just like to say..Nice pictures Steve and great blog

At 1:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone is talking about NOT working with the fishing club, just trying to clarify the situation. As the lake and surrounding land is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the work will require Natural England consent regardless of who owns the land and regardless of planning permission. If the work is not being done with consent, the fishing club could be in serious legal trouble . If anyone has a contact at the club, I suggest they bring this to their attention in case they are not aware of it. I don't, but I do at NE.


At 11:37 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an update, I haven't heard back from NE, but have found out through other sources (the internet!) that the work is being done with the consent of NE. I haven't seen the extent of the work, so can't comment on whether this is 'sirprising' or not (it's certainly not common for a SSSI).


At 8:04 pm, Blogger alan woodcock said...

Do we know whether cars will be driven onto the site,1 hope not,Brookland is already like the M25 but with parking bays.


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