I reluctantly paid my 'take advantage of birders tax' for access to some Welsh Water sites. This years payment represents a modest 33% increase on last years cost thereby trumping (Donald) percentage rises in the Retail Price Index, petrol, council tax and even energy bills - I look forward to next years hike! As a case study in excluding/restricting/managing access to a fair chuck of prime habitat look no further than this as an example -so much for the well-being agenda! Its not hard to see how things would have panned out had the Government allowed the sell-off of Forestry Commission land in England - barred access and charges!
Rant over for the time being - although I will no-doubt revisit in due course- a female mute swan close into the dam wall was something of an unusual sight en-route to the north end. The meadows on the Island and towards the Bert Hamar hide are rich in invertebrates at the moment. Upwards of 30 marbled white with the odd red admiral, small copper and small skipper mingle with meadow brown.
Bird wise all the usual jokers were showing well, 150+ Canada goose, with the odd barnacle thrown in to keep us naturalists on our toes, good numbers of great crested grebe and cormorant. Reed warbler were vocal and a party of five bulky finches calling loudly as they took flight from the mature oak on the island are accredited as being hawfinch. Otherwise a single common sandpiper and a couple of 'hush hush don't mention' birds was the ornithological tally.