Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Not all about scything

Scything continues to be a favourite activity with the Thursday volunteers. We have allocated a small area at Rushy Commmon to see if we can create a wildflower area by cutting and removing the cuttings and spreading some wildflower seeds and planting a few suitable plants. There are, of course, masses of wild flowers around the rest of the site but the aim of this patch is to make an area that is attractive to bees and other invertebrates and is visible to visitors to the bird hide.
 Chris photographed the only surviving viper's-bugloss plant from our initial planting last year. Red clover, common fleabane, selfheal, purple loosestrife and water mint have already established naturally, providing a good food source for bees, hoverflies and butterflies. We are also going to clear some bare patches and spread some locally sourced seed of yellow rattle, knapweed etc but as you can see below the grass looks very vigorous so it might be a long term project to get the less dominant wild flowers established.

We then went on to create kingfisher perches as requested by several of the birdwatchers. But when we looked on the far side of the hide, where a kingfisher has been seen visiting quite often, we found a network of branches that looked much more interesting than our simple single  branch support. We decided that we were not satisfied with our efforts and this is a work in progress so we are going to have another go this week. Watch this space....and hopefully get good views of the kingfishers in the months to come.

Chris also provided a useful resting place for a very friendly ruddy darter dragonfly.

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