Sunday, 31 July 2016

Going to My Hometown - Rory Gallagher (Part II)

In Part II of our introduction to New Readers, and a recap for all others, we can tell you that contained within the bounds of our Recording Area we have 5 main water-courses. The greatest of these is the River Stour, which forms the southern boundary of Parley Court Farm, while also in the southern section is Parley Pond and its nearby smaller subsidiary Pool. To the north are 2 further Ponds, created by gravel extraction which, like the others already mentioned, are visited on a daily basis cum rain or shine. Additionally, there are a series of small Fishing Lakes, given over to the Ringwood and District Angling Club, which historically have held little by way of Wildlife so are only visited on an occasional basis. The last of these is a small tributary, which runs into the Moors River, and forms a southern boundary between Merritown heath (to which we have access) and Bournemouth International Airport. As a part of this there is a Balancing Pond constructed just last year to hold Airport flood water and as a back-up for fire fighting. 
Between the beginning of March and the end of November
our days always start with a visit to our 5 Moth Traps laid
fairly close to Slight Return II where yesterday the best on show were a
First for the Year
which was considered a very good catch in as much that
prior to 1991 there had only been 3 records from the whole of
Great Britain.
Since those days there has been something of a surge in records
and is now a regular immigrant to the southern part of the country.
was photographed as a pristine specimen as was
Returning to the subject of water-course the first is known as the
in that during the days of Turf Production here that was the sole reason for the excavation.
Our daily visits here usually turn up something, even if only a
bathing Gull or a Pied Wagtail hunting Flies, but yesterday was
coincidentally rather more interesting than that.
Since the beginning of April this pair of
have made 3 attempts at breeding but thus far without success.
The first nest, at another site on the pond, was abandoned before any eggs were laid and the second also on this buoyant water filter platform initially contained 7 eggs with just 2 hatching but the next day the remaining eggs and chicks alike were gone, thought to have been predated by Lesser Black-backed Gulls. The same nest was refurbished and a further 5 eggs were laid but strangely, one or the other bird has been 'sitting' for a full 5 weeks now with no signs of young. There was however some notable action including a manoeuvre we had not witnessed before, the
 parent birds changing over incubation duties.
Changing of the Guard
Egg Rolling
they must think they are still in with a chance?
Known to be torrid defenders of not only the nest and eggs but the
territory all around, there were some infiltrators a family of young
which originated from a nest near by.
The off-watch Coot was fighting them off with a venom which due
to incompetence was not captured on video, but what was became a little hard to believe.
Did you see that? Was it a little red head?
It was at this point both adults entered the frey chassing of the Ducks,
but even more so allowing an opportunity to get closer to the nest
to observe what was going on.
Not a sign of the Chick but there are at least 4 eggs so we beat
a retreat but will continue observing on a daily basis.

Now, with our mind elsewhere we very nearly missed the
Bird of the Month
and only a movement in the corner of the eye saved the day.
With the water here both evaporating and being carted off to the
Eco Recycling Works
to quell the dust the 'scrape' is back in view and we have been longing for a Wader

and there one was.
at the far side of the Pond unfortunately
 but we can be patient,

 and after laying on the bank for a good while, the

closed to a decent distance.
To end Part II before moving on there is another
Small Cutting
at the edge of the Irrigation Pond which was excavated
2 years ago to provide gravel for the Solar Panel Compounds.
Already here Coot and Mallard have bred while
Reed Warbler were also noted prospecting the site last year .
Common Reed, Greater Reedmace, Broad-leaved Pond Weed
and a tiny tiny stand of Bulrush have also established themselves
with 5 species of Dragon/Damselfly also noted.
Shame, it was destined to be back-filled but a word with Hugh,
pointing out the benifits, has well proved its worth.

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