(Photo of Barn Owls by Martin Pickles)As well as the Purple Emperor butterfly, 2012 saw at least two pairs of Lapwings successfully hatch young on the islands of Colebrook Lake. Three pairs of Great-crested Grebes nested around Colebrook Lake, two broods of young Little Grebes have been seen on Manor Lake and several pairs of Tufted Duck ducklings spotted on Manor Lake and the New Workings.
The barn owls on site are doing well with four chicks found in the southern Manor Farm box in the June Survey. Unusually, this year the chicks were ready to fledge, which was around a month early. This pattern has been reported nationally where the early hot spell in March is thought to have kick-started the breeding early.
Volunteers at the site have been hard at work in the recent months cutting back the lush paths and tracks to the hides, which had a growing spurt with all the rain. Work was also undertaken on Tern Island, pulling ragwort, and repairing the MGL boat. The broken old fence by the bird feeders was removed by volunteers, and replaced with a sturdy new stock net fence which turned out surprisingly straight.
CEMEX UK extracted sand and gravel for building materials from the Blackwater Valley in Berkshire between 1983 and 1988. When quarrying ended we transformed the old gravel pits into the Moor Green Lakes Nature Reserve, which opened in 1993. The Moor Green Lakes Group manages the site. The group monitors and records wildlife at the site and communicates the progress of conservation work with to its members. Do come and enjoy 2013 at Moor Green Lakes!