Skerne Wetlands

I’ve had another conservation volunteering day at Skerne Wetlands, where we continued to remove netting from the old fish ponds. The nets were held up with rope and much of it has now become embedded in the mud and overgrown with vegetation. I spent the day pulling up lengths of rope, like a blackbird pulling out a worm!

Greylag geese carefully guard their six goslings

When we met up at the bridge, we could see Brook lampreys spawning underneath. I tried to get some photos, but although the water is very clear, reflections off the surface made it impossible to get a good shot from above. On the walk down to the ponds, we found three eggs from different bird species. All had been predated, probably by crows.

Predated eggs - duck, partridge and moorhen

It was a warm day and lots of butterflies were on the wing – orange tip, brimstone, peacock and green-veined white (it may have been the small white, but they don’t stay still long enough to be sure!). During our morning coffee break, two kingfishers shot past, but they were gone in a flash and we didn’t see them again.

On one of the ditches, there’s a juvenile swan which has bare feather quills sticking out either side of it, which look very strange. We think it may have a condition called “angel wing”, more often associated with dietary problems in domestic fowl. It manages to feed without difficulty, but may be unable to fly.

The swan with "angel wing"

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