Sunday, 14 February 2010

Out of Hibernation

So now that the snowdrops have put in an appearance and the winter chores are done my camera and I have been reacquainted - we have had a period of unforced separation!
EDDC were running their 'Wet and Wild Weekend' winter edition. So of we popped to Seaton. A stop at Borrow Pit on the way was a must following a hot tip regarding endless photo opportunities of Otters, they were not in the mood and so did not turn up - next time maybe? Still we were greeted with a cacophony of birdsong and the sight of Grey Heron, Great Egret, numerous Coots, a pair of Diving Ducks and a pair of swans.

Following a few snaps we made our way further down road to the "very" welcome tent nestling next to a man made lagoon which has been constructed with great care to give rise to a ecosystem perfect for the many wetland birds passing through and staying in the area. Spotting scopes revealed Little Egrets, more Grey Herons, a Kingfisher or two, Shel ducks and some Mallards.

Our next step was the highly informative and interesting "history of the Axe Estuary" walk and talk given by Kate Tobin, this was punctuated with points of wildlife interest, a hovering Kestrel, Water Vole Holes, flight of the Kingfisher amongst others. They have many plans for the future and much to benefit the local wildlife, local involvement and awareness will play a key part. One such plan is to link parts of the reserve together which revealed an unexpected jewel. A little brook that in a month or so will look stunning - I shall be sure to return and confirm my suspicions.

Our walk terminated at the bird ringing tent, a highly valuable resource of information both to us on the day and for the records showing the state of the various populations of passerine birds. First we met an adult Dunnock and watched the process of ringing,

measuring and weighing. Once all the data has been collected the bird can then be released.

Certain species were approved for release by young volunteers, the Robin below was ably released by my daughter who as can be seen was entranced by the process. Getting youngsters this close the to nature and management there of is a must for the continued success of such projects and nature as a whole.

The recorders are out every other week and allow the public to view and get involved several days across the year - if you are able it is well worth a visit.

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