Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Lunching with the Cetti's at the reedbed

The volunteer group have been busy cutting bays into the reedbed to promote regrowth and have a huge stack of reeds to show for it. Sadly they are no use for general thatching and Hill End are not able to take any this year for thatching their iron age style round houses so it all had to be burnt.


Despite us making quite a disturbance one morning we were entertained by a Cetti's warbler  as we sat and ate our lunch. True to form it lurked in the reeds without showing itself but gave us several rounds of its explosive and distinctive call.

Even though everyone is getting really fit with all this practical work we were very glad to have the help of students from Abindgon and Witney College on the final day. They set to with great enthusiasm raking up the reed and even having a go on the scythes. Some of them showed a promising technique but for one it was all too much and he turned into a hamster. Needless to say they all loved the bonfire.

About 350 sq metres of the reedbed were cleared this year and at this rate we should get round the rest of it over the next two years, then start again at the beginning making a seven year cycle. It will be easier next time round as we won't be having to remove the wire and posts of the enclosures that the original reed seedlings were planted into to stop the geese from eating them all. 
The reed buntings are busy setting out their territories and soon the reed and sedge warblers will be joining them for the summer. Thanks to the winter feeding in the feeders by the bird hide the numbers of reed bunting seem to be quite substantial.

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