Saturday, 18 September 2010

Purple patch

Good Bitterny reedbeds, GWE and a Medicinal Leech.

And so to Dungeness, where, thigh-deep in water, counting reeds, a party of 17 Glossy Ibis passed overhead unnoticed. Reedbed creation work in the mid 2000’s is beginning to bear fruit. The improved conditions in the reedbeds has triggered the first proven breeding of Bitterns, and as a bonus, the well publicised pair of Purple Herons. PH’s have similar nesting requirements to Bitterns and although this year’s breeding will be seen as opportunistic, credit is due to the site staff for creating ideal conditions within the reedbeds. A day was spent recording the habitat characteristics around the nesting areas.  The PH nest was a sturdy platform created from bent stems of reed woven together with additional reed and stems of Great Water Dock.
It’s always good to remove the waders at the end of the day and wiggle the toes in the cool water – at Dunge you get the added bonus of watching the Medicinal Leech’s loop towards you. Little Gulls, Black Terns and Great White Egret couldn’t make up for the disappointment of missing the Ibis.

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