Now that Spring has arrived and the weather has become warmer there is quite a lot of activity on the reserve.
On the pool we have pairs of little grebe, tufted duck, coot, mallard, canada geese and this splendid pair of Grey Lag geese.
The tufted probably won't stay to breed as the coot that 'owns' the pool is constantly chasing them away. The issue seems to be that the tufted ducks want to make a nest where the coot usually does and he isn't having any of it. I doubt that the grey lag will stay either and the canada geese don't look like nesting again this year which to be perfectly honest is a bit of a bonus. We have had up to 14 on site and whilst they do a good job in grazing the pool banks they make a lot of noise and mess! Reed buntings are around and looking for nest sites in the tussocky areas left of the pool. I also put up six Common Snipe last week from the same area.
We were treated to a sighting of this female roe deer. She spent some time grazing the new growth to the left of the main hide, where we had random patch cut last year.
Our frogs are also getting together and we watched them leisurely swimming up and down the pool margins. No sign of our toads yet but hopefully we will have the same large numbers as we did last year which was a record for the reserve.
Not only has the wildlife been busy, my volunteers have too. We have been creating raised paths where the existing paths have become very boggy with deep mud which makes walking round very difficult. We have piled willow brash from pollards on top of dead sedge and then another layer of this on top. Hopefully it will make a difference but I suspect that once the cattle come back in they won't take long to trash it. We have also experimented with putting down logs and sedge around one of the kissing gates, again in the hope that it will raise the path above the mud.
It's a shame that our paths get so boggy but it is a wetland reserve and so we should not be surprised.
We have once again an excellent show of coltsfoot in front of the main hide and by the time you read this the first cowslips will be in flower and hopefully our next spring plant will be the lady's smock which for me is a certainty that spring has arrived and with it the orange tip butterfly.
Paul, Feckenham reserve manager