Sunday, 21 April 2013

SWT Hazelwood Marshes

On New Years Day 2012 we walked The Sailers Path from Snape towards Aldeborough, and back.  We saw the sign for the marshes but did not have time to go any further.  So today we started from the Aldeborough end, parking in a small car park off the main road.

The entrance to the Hazelwood Marshes is about half a mile's walk along the Sailors Path which has recently been resurfaced.  The marshes themselves are managed by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

Sightings included small tortoiseshell and peacock butterflies, chiffchaff, blackcap and willow warbler.  From the Eric Hoskings hide we saw avocet, redshank, 3 greenshank and a big flock of godwits on the far side of the bay together with many smaller waders, probably mostly dunlin.  There were lots of shelduck in front of the hide, together with numerous teal and a pair of shoveler.

Bird of the day was a very obliging hobby which was hawking for insects low over the grazing meadow and ponds behind the hide.

1000 for 1KSQ

So now I have been tempted again!  To find 1000 species in a single square kilometre in one year - sounds a tall order you might think.  But we are talking species of any type of creature, plant, fungus, bugs and beasties.  And several people have reached 400 already.  To follow the latest stories or to join in see the blog:

My square is TM3137 which includes my garden and fields north of Felixstowe reaching as far as Kings Fleet.  My total so far is 113, so quite a way to go!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Patchwork Challenge

I have signed up to the Patchwork Challenge

King's Fleet & Felixstowe Ferry

The first task was to define the borders of my patch, which must be no more than 3km2 in area.

It obviously had to include my garden, in Marsh Lane, and all the land in the Deben valley visible from the bedroom window.  I also wanted to include the footpath which leads from Marsh Lane to Gulpher Road, as this is a nice walk when time is short. 

King's Fleet made an obvious northern boundary , as did the River Deben to Felixstowe Ferry and the sea shore from the Ferry to the cliff top car park near the Golf Club.  The SW boundary follows Ferry Road back to Marsh lane.  On drawing this out using a mapping tool the area was calculated at 2.900km2- just right!

The rules state that  'The birds that contribute to your score must be within the boundaries of the patch (i.e. you don’t need to be), or, seen or heard while you are on your patch. So, heard only birds count, distant passing seabirds count, flyovers count, and birds flushed from the patch while you approach your site count.'

So this means that anything flying up the river, seen out at sea, or visible on the far side of the Fleet is still countable.

I am starting my patch list from today but also including the few interesting birds I had recorded earlier in January, which were basically Barn Owl and a flock of Linnets from a walk on 1st Jan and a Tawny Owl seen in Marsh Lane when I was driving home from work last week.  So today I will be recording all the garden birds and perhaps venturing out this afternoon to check the geese and swans visible in the distance from the house - weather permitting of course!