It was a grey day at Thames Road Wetland yesterday (May 25th).
Whilst there were a lot of Azure Damselflies, and some Blue-tails, they were all perched on grasses or nettles and not flying. There wasn’t a lot of avian action either. A Common Whitethroat was seen. Reed Warblers were vocalising. A pair of Coot on the ‘lake’ had 2 chicks. A Cetti’s Warbler called frequently. There was the usual procession of Carrion Crows heading south/south-west in the early evening, with a stream of some 57 at one point. 10 Swifts were screeching high over the site late on.
The highlight was only the second Grass Snake I’ve managed to photograph at the site. Hiding under a piece of tile with its head under its body, it didn’t move while I took the picture below and covered it over again.
Work done included:
– Manual re-cutting with shears of management paths along which vegetation has shot up since my last session, and adding cut material to potential Grass Snake egg-laying heaps.
– Clearing some vegetation around existing Lizard basking sites.
– ‘Weeding’ around Hop Sedge and Square-stemmed St. John’s-wort in the western draw-down zone, particularly to keep down Common Reed growth.
– Checking on two Alder saplings recently planted and clearing rank vegetation from around them.
– Clearing a patch and planting another 8 Marsh Sow-thistles to make up for losses elsewhere, possibly due to Water Vole burrowing or grazing.
– Scything off top growth of small Giant Hogweed plants on the Sewer Pipe Embankment.
Chris Rose, volunteer Site Manager.