Skerne Wetlands

I had another conservation workday today at Skerne Wetlands, a new Yorkshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve. It used to be a fish farm and some of the old fish ponds were covered in netting to protect the stock from herons and cormorants. Our task today was to remove this netting. The ponds are dry and much of the netting had collapsed onto the ground and become embedded in the vegetation, making it more difficult to pull out.

First remove the rope that supported the netting...
 
...then untangle the netting from the vegetation

The winter wildfowl have left now, but we saw herons, cormorants and oystercatchers and a pair of swans at their huge nest. At lunchtime we saw what at first appeared to be an odd bird. It was in fact a Noctule bat! This is Britain’s largest bat. Like other bats it’s nocturnal, so it’s most unusual to see one out hunting in the middle of the day.

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) now grows on the pond floors

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