Heart Attack

Ham Wall.  Its a gem.  Made popular by booming Bitterns and the (in)famous winter starlings.  But unlike a gem, Ham Wall is a living breathing entity.  A delicate mesh of life brought together in one small area for our viewing pleasure and it is this which will prove to be its downfall.

A new hide has been constructed in the reserve's heart.  Amongst the reeds, raised up so that we can survey across the reeds.  A pathway runs up through the once hidden sanctuary.  It allows unprecedented access and should be perfect for Bitterns, Marsh harriers and maybe even a Little Bittern.  Except after half a dozen visits I havent seen anything noteworthy  Indeed the only birds I have seen could easily be found at my local park, and is that what Ham Wall is turning into?

Plans are a foot for a new carpark and a shop.  The main track is littered with bikes,trikes and buggies.  Now more of the reserve has been sacrificed for us.  Unfortunately the increased footfall means there will be more disrespect for wildlife and others.  This was domonstrated clearly when a family came strolling down the new accessr oute to the hide.  Two teenagers were shouting at each other and did the same inside the hide.  The Pochards scattered and the booming Bittern went silent.  At that point I left...

I suspect this happens everyday.  I don't think shy birds like the Bittern will hang around for long.

It is more important than ever that EVERYONE respects the surroundings they are in.  Nature reserves should be accessed by everyone and not the preserve of avid wildlife hunters as long as respect is given.

Ham Wall is loosing its luster.  I hope that the new hide isn't the proverbial stake through its living heart.. 

Little Egret - Ham Wall

Goldfinch at Godney

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