3 March 2001

Good news and bad this week. The good news is that a Water Rail has been seen about the site. The bad news is that the partially eaten body of the pen of our pair of swans was found near the blockhouse. She had been reported as lame and with a damaged wing last week, so perhaps was caught by a fox, or died of injuries or old age. End of an era. Male swan gone by Sunday.

Water Rail still there and has made itself a little burrow in waterside plants. Muntjac lying up in gardens on Riverside Road, later seen on Alban Way. She looked plump - pregnant? Kingfisher heard on site, and Canada geese overflying. Snowdrops still out, daffodils, violets and primroses out; Kingcups just showing yellow on their buds.

10 Mar 2001

The widowed cob swan has been seen on site with what may be a new mate. However, he was alone again on Sunday, but still doing power demonstrations up and down the Mere. No sign of Water Rail, but its tunnel under the overhanging vegetation is adorned with a big white splash of excreta that was not there last week. Spring flowers now a picture - Marsh Marigold, Primrose, Daffodil, Violet all fully out, with Snowdrops still hanging on well and even some Ransomes in bud.

17 Mar 2001

Despite weather, all flora from last week still going except snowdrops, which are more or less over. White as well as blue violets well out. Daffodils at their best. Kingfisher on site, seen and heard. Some moron has dumped 30 - 40 goldfish in the Mere - these will be an infernal nuisance to remove.

24 Mar 2001

Site very beautiful, all Spring flowers out. No sign of swans or Water Rail, c. 55 Golden Orfe still swimming about the Mere. Birds all pairing - pairs of Dunnocks, tits, long-tailed tits about site. Jay seen flying to Alban Way. One Coot pair already nesting on bog.

31 March 2001

Pair of Kingfishers and Jays seen. Duck nesting very near path at allotment; three coots nesting, one on top of water plant cage. Robins, Wrens and tits in pairs all about the site. Daffodils and Marsh Marigolds superb, great splashes of yellow. Shady Place covered in creeping and sweet violet, mauve, purple and white; masses of celandines, primroses and the odd ramson about to pop into flower. Brimstone and Peacock butterflies and first bumble bees on site.

Next report (April 2001)