November 2019 – Reserve

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5 Dec 2019

Our Reserve Manager, Richard, reflects on November 

We are lucky to attract a great variety of native and visiting wildlife and November was no exception, welcoming a lively mix of species.

There have been sightings of barn owls across the reserve along with jack snipes and woodcock, which have returned for the winter. Since putting out food we have attracted flocks of between 60 and 70 linnets on the farmland, which is particularly encouraging as these small, attractive finches are on the priority list due declining numbers over the past 50 years. 

The Wader Scrape has been a hive of activity throughout November, being home to several sightings of bittern and hosting increasing numbers of wigeon flocking from Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia. Heavy rainfall has resulted in flooding in the Scrape. That, coupled with river water levels being high, means that there are no islands for the birds to roost on.  That said, our habitat management team is hard at work clearing the willow along the river and tidying up the Scrape, which makes it as habitable as possible whilst the rainy weather does its best to hinder progress.

The cattle and sheep are still grazing on site and we have 30 extra cows to finish off the dry grassland, which should hopefully have a positive effect on the wildflower meadow.

To find out what sightings to look out for in December, take a look at our sightings page, which is regularly updated by our wardens, volunteers and visitors.