Birds, flowers and calf number 4

Two thrush in the Paddock again this morning. Sightings of a wren and a goldfinch in the Orchard.

Daffodil and celandine to add to this year’s list of flowers in the Nature Reserve

The fourth of this year’s calves was born this morning, a white heifer. Calf and mother reported as both doing well.

Grey Partridge

I know the Grey Partridge is one of the birds that the Nature Reserve is trying to encourage.

Seems to be doing a good job. Six flew up from the big Fauna field this morning as I passed by on the footpath with my dog.  They did not go far, and settled down about 100 yards further on in the same field.


Bird activity

As well as the usual garden birds around the shed and Orchard this morning there were

* a jay in the trees above the shed

* two song thrushes in the Paddock

* three teal (2 m and 1 f) joining a couple of mallards in Alder Pond

* a woodpecker very noisily at work in Pony Wood

2 Canal Sightings

Not strictly in the Nature Reserve, but very close.

Wednesday around 8:15 – Just past the Haverbreaks bridge a good sighting of a kingfisher..  It has been active around this area for a good few days, but usually darts for a new perch a little further down the canal.  It is always uplifting to see one.

A little further along the canal towards the footpath through Flora, I noticed a line on bubbles in the canal.  I stopped expecting to see the usual brown rat surface, But to my surprise an otter poked it’s head out of the water, stared at me for a few seconds and then tumble dived back under the water, and made for the reeds at the bottom of one of the gardens, where it disappeared.

Made my day!


A pair of grey partridge were in the arable field this morning but the large linnet flock was nowhere to be seen. Just 7 linnets were in the area along with a small number of chaffinch. Once again I did a thorough check of the Admiralty Wood and, once again, there were no little owls present. Have we lost them for good?


Volunteer session 14th February

Here is Jonathan’s volunteer message for Valentine’s Day

Greetings All,

There’ll be a volunteer session at Fairfield Orachard, Fauna and Flora
this Saturday, February 14th, starting fragrantly at 10.00am and
finishing, in all likelihood, a little less fragrantly at 1.00pm or
The romantically and the not so romantically inclined will find welcome
distraction from their pre-occupations with the following activities…

Several of our hedges have infestations of bramble so our main priority in
this session will be to cut back the bramble in the hedges:

down the Pads footpath alongside the Orchard / Big Meadow;

in the hedge on the south side of the Paddock;

between the Fauna path and the Grammar School field.

THICK GLOVES NEEDED for all of the above.

We’ll also be aiming to finish cutting the ivy surrounding trees in the
stump circle area.

We also intend to transport all the timber from the West Field to the Shed.

Some maintenance work is required on the living willow fence alongside
School Pond – WELLINGTONS VERY MUCH REQUIRED for this task.

We need to mark out the ‘beetle banks’ in Flora Field so that the plough
can avoid them.

We also need to measure the wildflower and bird friendly margins in Flora
Field to calculate seed quantities.

Last and by no means least, we need to cut down the self seeded saplings
along our Aldcliffe Road boundary.

And that’s about your lot for this time,

Love and kisses,


Thanks and help on ID

Thanks to all for submitting sightings over the last few days – it’s great to hear about the numbers of snipe and other wildlife on the reserve, as well as seeing the photo of the linnets (I hadn’t realised how different the males and females are).

I’ve been asked by Carole Martin (creator of the FA calendar, as well as provider of many super photos) if she can get a positive ID on this bird (click the image to see a larger version):

Enjoying winter sun

Have got my theory, but don’t want to display any ignorance. Many thanks!

Heard a pheasant near the log circle in the Orchard yesterday morning, and a woodpecker.

Birds in the Orchard

Possibly three woodpeckers competing around the Orchard area this morning. It was amusing seeing people walking by with their heads in the air trying to spot them.

A song thrush in the Orchard and then a little flock of long tailed tits this afternoon.