Saturday, 23 May 2009
Narborough Bog, 21/05/2009
Decided to head out again in the early evening with bins and cameras to look and listen for birds in part of my Soar Valley South patch. This time I focused on Narborough Bog, a site I know well for moth trapping and the odd flounce around with a net, but I've not consciously paid any attention to the birds there. Somehow it is a site that should do better for birds than I suspect it does, but time will tell. I was there for almost 2hrs, 18:30 - 20:20, in similar conditions (mild & overcast) to earlier in the week though less breezy. Here's an aerial view courtesy of Multimap (click for slightly bigger): The western-most red dot marks where the access track leaves the B4114 just before the road passes underneath the M1. Just along side this track is an interesting looking field (1) that I've never really looked at. At the moment it doesn't look great, but could be good for feeding birds in autumn and winter. Looking across the field, with the wet woodland of Narborough Bog in the distance. The next red dot marks the end of the public track where cars park up for the cricket and football played on the sports fields (2). View across the football field looking at the wet woodland, taken from the end of the access track. The red dot just south-east across the sports field marks the entrance to the reserve, If you are suitably permitted and it is not wet, you can park here (as I do for mothing). On entering the reserve gateway, you immediately look across the reedbed, over the railway line to the woodland at the back of the reserve. My usual walking route around this site is roughly marked with the red line. From the reserve entrance, head north-east through the wet woodland (3) which is mainly ash, alder and oak. This really is a damp wood - wellies or exceptionally good boots essential after rain. Eventually the track turns to head south-east following the bank of the River Soar. The woodland to the south-west (4) is a little more open with more sallows/willows. Eventually, the path reaches the railway line where the next red dot is on the aerial view. The path goes underneath the railway through very low arches which are almost overgrown now. From there, head south-west heading towards the meadows. At (5), there is a 'watering-hole' access to the River Soar for whatever is grazing the meadows (currently five big ponies). The watering-hole Path to the meadows from the watering hole. Looking across the first meadow (6) with the boundary woodland at the back. Head west into the second meadow (7), and the north-east alongside the railway line back to the railway arches. From there, after passing back under the arches, I head south-west heading for the reedbed(8). Path to the reedbed. The path eventually opens out with the reedbed in view. At the end of the reedbed, just before heading north back to the entrance, there is a small pond (9). Don't know if this pond is any good for dragons/damsels but plenty of emergent vegetation. Just to the west of the reserve, before the motorway, are allotments (10). Must be good for something? The other areas that could be good, but currently inaccessible and not part of the reserve, is the woodland to the south (11) and the grassland to the south-west (12). There is a road heading into this area from a small industrial estate in Narborough, but I checked and it is gated and padlocked. I'm going to see if I can find out who owns the land and see if any access is possible. So, plenty of habitat and potential in that relatively small area - what did I see/hear? Well, to be honest, not a lot! Only 23 species with the best being Common Buzzard (now resident in the area). I was surprised not to hear any Sedge Warblers, and no Marsh or Willow Tits. Only warblers were Blackcap, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff, and only woodpecker was Great Spotted. Still, I do like this reserve and will make the effort. Apart from birds, there were a good few moths that I didn't identify as I was out birding without a net, a single Banded Demoiselle and a big fat Drinker caterpillar. Plus lots of solitude which in this day and age is priceless.