February 2018 - Bawburgh Lakes 2017




Thanks go to Dominic Gwilliam-Bell for this article on Wildlife at Bawburgh Lakes 2017, together with photos. Dominic has supported Bawburgh News with interesting facts and information on local wildlife for many years for which we are very grateful.


'Last April at Bawburgh Lakes we had another dawn chorus walk with more people attending than the previous year. Sadly, they did not get to see the two young Tawny Owlets that had fledged very early on in the Spring but there was an abundance of Warblers, Finches, Tits and Waterfowl to admire and the visitors also had the opportunity to check out the other hide we had erected.

The Tern raft again paid dividends with a good number of Common Tern hatching from this. Even the Oystercatchers strangely enough reared one young. 

The highlight of the year for me and Alec, who also helps with the wildlife, was that the Barn Owls reared five owlets. They were all ringed and fledged with some extra help of the mice that were caught in some traps; the mice were catapulted through the entrance to help with the feeding in some wet weather. Lots of small birds had a good season 2017 and we had the most Coots we have ever seen - I counted thirty-six in one session which means the Mink must be well under control. We regularly see two Great White Egrets and a vast number of Little Egret. The Grey Heron are doing well in the Heronry and Sparrow Hawk, Goshawk, and Hobby all still present. The Kestrel also had offspring. Kites and Buzzards have been seen regularly with the help of road kill and the vast numbers of rabbits present on the site. The families of Stoat had a field day as is evidenced by the photo. Shoveller, Goosander, Mallard, Tufted, Gadwall, Teal, and Pochard ducks were all seen as were Greylag, Canada and Egyptian Geese (all with goslings). There have been plenty of Mute Swans with cygnets. Kingfishers have grown in numbers as well. The meadow area has seen a few finches with Reed Bunting and a few Meadow Pipits along with Bullfinches, Whitethroat and Wagtails.

We have had a few moth nights finding Poplar Hawk, Lappet, Footman and Pale Prominent among others. Butterflies were numerous including Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Red Admiral and Brown Argus.

In 2018, we are setting Wood Mice/Dormice boxes about the site to see what comes and goes and what we can get on camera. In 2017, we undertook further coppicing clearance work to clear the River Yare and get more light into the water, encouraging fish and the whole life cycle chain. This will pay dividends this year'.





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