Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Italian Job - Not Many People Knew That!

On the very cusp of Bournemouth's Hern Airport, Parley Court is perfectly placed for my flight later this morning. However, before that there was time to visit an area of Dorset that has only in recent times appeared on the 'birding radar'. Now seemingly well watched and producing its fair share of scarce species

Longham Lake, once a productive Gravel Pit, has now been turned over to nature, the Angling fraternity and a domestic water supply.

The main purpose of the bankside storage resevoirs is to improve the security of the water supply for local customers by providing stored river water to be used when existing resources are unavailable, such as after a pollution incident. The northern most lake is fed from the River Avon while to the south the River Stour is the source.

I have had the pleasure of visiting the area on 3 previous occassions, first to see a Hoopoe, then Ortolan Bunting and finally with Hugh when we met Ian the Water Bailiff. It was my pleasure to meet him again this morning when he enlightened me about the surrounds and fishing.

There is a small exhibition of photographs highlighting some of the monsters caught from the lake, recorded and then returned unharmed.

Of these the record weight for Carp thus far is 37lb 4oz,

Breem over 10lb, Pike 31+lb, Tench 8lb 4oz and Chubb 4lb.

Unsurprisingly, Cormorants present a problem for the Fishery so young fish particularly are given some protection by deployment of a number of Fish Refuges. These allow the fish to shelter among the trailing ropes while detering the birds.

The Lake, viewed here from the south perimeter path, is alive with waterfowl including both Little & Great Creast Grebe, Wigeon, Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal and Coot but surprisingly there wasn't a single Moorhen on show.

There also appears to be a healthy population of Mute Swan while

there are also a couple of good looking pools that may easily attract a rare Wader in the future?

Trees abound, such as Beech, Birch, Ash, Alder and Oak, like this relatively young specimen sheltering just one of several new plantations.

The new Office Complex is impressive also with my borrowed Freelander in the background,

and one of a couple of unidentified Fungi to be seen around the shores.

Just before noon, Janet took me to Hern Airport where already the gate was open and right on time we took to the air.

The pilot indicated that both the Matahorn & Mont Blanc could be seen from the port side, and I was lucky to be there in a window seat. 25 minutes later we landed (10 minutes ahead of shedual) at Pisa, Italy.

There have been a few snags with today's post, so please bare with us.

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