December 2019 – Reserve

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9 Jan 2020

Our Reserve Manager, Richard reflects on December 

It’s been a very wet month here at Pensthorpe with lots of rainfall causing flooding to low lying areas around Christmas.

We may have had some of the highest water levels ever recorded in our main pools and scrape area but it hasn’t been detracting our feathered visitors, with plenty of sightings recorded throughout the month. A jacksnipe was disturbed by a group of ten snipe on 2nd December and two bittern were seen together in one of our reed beds on 9th.

We’ve noted an exceptional count of Mandarin duck while other duck numbers seem to be fluctuating with the flooding, including highs of 70 widgeon, 180 teal and 70 gadwall recorded.

 

A mandarin duck by Annie Kerridge

There have been some spectacular sightings of birds of prey, most notably three marsh harrier soaring over the reserve on 19th December plus regular views of red kite.

Aside from enjoying the lively and ever-changing bird life our teams have been focusing on winter scrub clearance and continuing to rotate the sheep and cattle in order to finish grazing the east side of the reserve.