Monday, 18 February 2013

WEBs Count Results - Open Sunday 17th February

Thanks to everyone who turned up on Sunday, we were pleased to be able to lay on some good weather for you for a change.

Andy's final WEBs count results for HESC were as follows

G.C. Grebe - 9
Cormorant - 3
Grey Heron - 8
Little Egret - 8
Mute Swan - 14
Canada Goose - 61
Wigeon - 301
Teal - 18
Mallard - 4
Gadwall - 5
Pochard - 50
Tufted Duck - 102
Coot - 21
Moorhen - 2
Sadly the Pintails who had been on the lake earlier in the week decided not to take part in this months census.
Visitors to the woodland hide reported seeing the Willow Tit plus, Marsh, Great, Blue and Long-tailed tits, Siskin, Redpole,Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Dunnock and a Treecreeper.
From the centre we enjoyed a good view of a Sparrowhawk, we also saw a Kestrel, three Buzzards and a Muntjac grazing on the grass.
Tony has donated a framed picture of his now infamous "as seen on TV" Otter
which we are giving as the prize in a "name the otter competition".
The draw takes place at the AGM on Wed 15th May
In the centre the bookstall did good business and the "name the otter" competition got off to a promising start. We have also started selling birdseed in convenient 1kg bags for a £1 each, initial reaction suggests these will also be a popular item.
Our next scheduled meeting is Sunday 3rd March which is a working party morning, we hope to see you then.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Open Sunday 17th February 2013

Just a quick reminder that the Friends Group will be opening the centre this Sunday at 10am as usual. The weather forecast looks reasonable so why not come down, have a walk around, spend some time in the hides and then join us for refreshments in the centre.

Andy Harding will again be doing his wetland birds survey (WEBS), starting at approximately 10.15 and would be pleased to have your company and assistance as he completes his HESC count, which normally takes around one hour.

Malcolm Stewart will be doing an introduction to telephoto photography for beginners and will be happy to let you have a go with his long lens from the comfort of the viewing gallery and Jane has just the ticket for you to win your very own Lutra Lutra.

As usual, the second hand book stall will be well stocked with plenty of bargain buys.

So why not come and join us, we look forward to your company.


Thursday, 7 February 2013

Working Party Reports

Thank you to the dozen or so Friends who turned out last Sunday to help around the reserve. Although it was mid morning, initially we had to work quietly so as not to disturb the youngsters who were having a lie-in after a night partying (well chasing rabbits and pheasants anyway).

What time to you call this?
Tasks completed included:

 Creating yet another bench, this time, under the shade of the birch tree in the “comfrey triangle” (I promise you that is not a slightly dodgy metaphor) and clearing a view into the part of St Peter's lake that lies adjacent to it.

No, we have not stolen his little red hat and fishing rod (sorry Neil)

Clearing scrub from opposite the woodland hide and removing the partially fallen tree near the door to the hide.
Graeme sings motivational sea shanties, whilst the ship mates splice the main brace

Finishing off the first hibernaculum with a covering of earth and some logs and branches, so that it blends into the surroundings.

Can you see what it is yet? 

Thank you also to the similar number from MK Green Gym (The Conservation Volunteers) who came down on Thursday morning to help clear brambles, carry out some coppicing and replant young blackthorn along the perimeter fence, which in time, should form a substantial protective hedge.

Our next meeting is the Open Sunday on February 17th, we look forward to seeing you.