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Wildlife on the Marshes
by John Coates

Wildlife News

Some items of interest from the 2007 nesting season

I have been out of action on the website for some time due to illness.

There have been several encouraging developments this breeding season. Two species have returned to their old haunts following an absence of at least ten years and one new visitor which did not breed.


At least two pairs bred following a first appearance last year. It appears they may settle. There may well be more of this illusive species yet to be found.


Three pairs have re-occupied old sites with there being plenty more good habitat on the Marsh for them to re-occupy. There are at least four sites which have been used historically. A number of local farmers have recently carried out underbrush cuttings which have re-grown creating graduated re-growth which produces excellent nest sites.

Red Kite

One has been seen several times and is hunting over the site. This is suitable habitat with plenty of large oak trees and good hunting. Let us hope it finds a mate.

In addition, Dragon and Damselflies have been extending their range up the Birtsmorton Brook probably due to better bank management and weed control.

It will be fascinating to monitor future changes which as a result of hedge and ditch management look as if they will be mostly positive. The flood recently revealed a few healthy lapwing chicks which had managed to escape predating crows, jackdaws and magpies. Numbers are still well down on previous years due mainly to so much grassing down of their nesting fields instead of set-aside.

JLC 1st July 2007









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