Friday 22 October 2010

Scrape and polish

When we acquired the farm over eight years ago, the only water-body was Ruan Pool, which in those days was only a fraction of its original size due to steadily invading vegetation. We decided to create a small scrape to attract a few wildfowl and waders. It was dug in late 2002 in a boggy area at the bottom of a very gentle slope at the edge of the pasture.

To prove that you can create something from nothing, it regularly attracted duck during the winter (six species) and, if water levels were suitable, a nice variety of spring and autumn waders. The Cornwall Wildlife Trust reserves team built a rather imposing tower-hide to overlook it. Highlights have included Little Egret, Pink-footed Geese, Garganey, Little Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Stint, Pectoral Sandpiper, Jack Snipe, Water Pipit and, best of all, a Citrine Wagtail, which was present for 35 minutes on the morning of 16th May 2004 (marvel at the quality of my video clip). Reed, Sedge and Grasshopper Warblers and Reed Buntings breed in the phragmites. I've also seen Marsh, Hen and Montagu's Harriers hunting over it - and a very possible Pallid!

Of course, nothing lasts for ever and over the last two or three years nature has been steadily working to return the land to its former condition. Recent visitors carefully entering the hide have probably been quite perplexed (and disappointed) to find themselves looking at a lot of rush and reedmace, very little water, and no birds. Hence this week our expert contractor Andy Tylor has been on site and......we have a scrape again!

1 comment:

  1. Looking good mate. It doesn't take long to disappear if you leave it alone.