Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig,
(Click on image to enlarge)
2nd September 2011: I have been on holiday! I spent a week in a cottage on the edge of a small wetland in Broad Haven, and a couple of days at home before moving on to Cyprus. So this evening is the first time in nine days that I have walked across Wilden Marsh. I noticed the differences in colour and height of the marsh grasses immediately. The muntjac, fox and rabbit tracks stretched before me like a map.
The water level in the North Pond is reasonable for late summer/early autumn, and I stood for a while on the east bank scanning the surface. There was a lot of activity in amongst the reeds and pond weed: plip-plopping, ripples and bubbles. Pond skippers were disappearing below the surface of the water as bubbles burst, but I have no idea what is responsible for this. Perhaps it’s marsh gas ( methane) escaping from the bottom of the pond.
I counted six separate scatterings of pigeon feathers around the pond, denoting six fox kills.
Hoverflies are everywhere. My fox-cam confirmed that the marsh foxes are still active, as did their tracks and pigeon feathers.
This morning I saw very few Himalayan Balsam plants as I walked my dog through Hoo Wood – there are walls of them down on the marsh. Hoo Wood runs parallel with the marsh and is around 100 feet (30.5 metres) higher: Wilden Lane separates them. I suspect that the ground dryness is responsible for the balsam dying-off faster in the wood than on the marsh.
It’s the Himalayan Balsam flowers that are attracting the honey bees at the moment.