Oct 14th 2013
180 Blk. Tld. G'Wits and a single Knot on the now slowly filling lagoon at 1030; plus 1 Dunlin and 1 Ruff.
When the fog eventually started clearing at around 1045 this morning a single Glossy Ibis appeared out of the gloom from the near L.H. corner. Also present just 30 or so Blk. Tld. G'Wits and around the same number of Snipe. Bearded Tits had been heard in the reeded lagoon to the right and eventually around mid day a male and female showed well on the near RH edge of the scrape. The Glossy flew off east towards Ham Wall at 1255 and had not returned up until 1450 when I left.
Simon Clarke has asked me to pass on teh following message about the Meare Heath lagoon:
"As its now getting to the end of the main movement period for waders we have taken the decision to stop pumping the Scrape at Shapwick Heath NNR. We will leave the water level for the rest of this week, but at the weekend open up the drop boards to allow the water level in the Scrape to come up for wintering ducks.
Over the next few weeks this will allow us to do several pieces of key reed bed management. By transferring water from Meare Heath into the Scrape we will then be able to start reed bed management in a slightly drier Meare Heath. This will involve use of our Softrak and also hard work from our reserve and volunteer teams. In November we will also be bringing in a specialist piece of kit, the Truxor to cut some of the reed at the back of the Scrape and several of the channels at the Eastern end of Noahs lake. This not only sets back reed bed encroachment but will also provide good spring feeding areas for many species especially members of the heron family."
Sounds fair enough to me, but if you have any qustions or concerns about this, Simon is happy to be contacted at the Avalon Marshes Centre on 01458 860120.
After a rather damp morning this afternoon's sun showed the following present despite the tide gradually creeping up:- 3 Knot;65 Blk Tld G'Wits and around 100 Lapwing standing on the near island that is now slowly becoming inundated. 2 Bittern flights behind and to right of the lagoon and the two Ibis were off the 2nd. VP on Ham Wall at 1530 this afternoon.
I am a strong supporter of allowing the scrape to fill with water in the winter as reed encroachment in all of our wetland reserves continues to reduce the areas of open water available to wintering swans, ducks, grebes etc. The first area on the right on Meare Heath is an example of what happens if you leave an area pumped off for a whole year. You get a reed bed and nothing else. We need a range of habitats and open water is the hardest one to maintain.