A small but keen group met on a chilly damp morning on May 1st to take part. 18 species of invertebrates were identified in moth traps and in the Flora Ponds and 25 bird species. Highlights were – a red kite ( from Grizedale?) over Flora Field, 5 stock dove, a swallow, probably collecting mud from the Flora Ponds for a nest in the boat house opposite, whitethroat in Pony Wood, a jay making a very strange call in The Orchard, and a great diving beetle larva gobbling up smaller creatures in the plastic tray. For those of us unfamiliar with moths, the names “Hebrew character moth ” and “shuttle shaped dart” were fascinating in themselves.
Linnets in the oak tree on the Long Pads.
The colder weather has encouraged the linnets to return to Fairfield in numbers.
On Thursday 21 Oct there were 83 linnets around and we have restarted the feeding programme established last year by Dan Haywood and LDBWS
Look out for Dan’s winter bird count and Rob Zlock’s diptera survey on the website. Now follow the link to the surveys directly from the home page.
Dan’s winter bird survey will shortly be on the website and on drop box ( where the maps will be included)
Fraser reported seeing a cormorant in West Field ( several days ago) and two curlew in Big Meadow. His message says – “the one that is lame seems to have a friend”. I wasn’t aware that one was lame.
A buzz at the table today. Chaffinch and reed bunting ( Dan counted 26 at least!) and linnets (20) coming down from the trees either side of the double gates to feed on seed scattered on the ground. Recent cold weather seems to have made them all hungry. A stoat, presumably the one recorded by Christine,came out of the Long Pads hedge and ran across in front of us, crossed the Pony Wood path and disappeared into Little Wood, to the delight of the small boy who had been helping scatter the seeds.
Rachel Malloch reported seeing 3 hare ( at the same time) in West Field on Feb 15th . Good news as recently only one individual has been reported.
80+linnets were coming to the seed which we had scattered near the top of the field. Seen and photographed by Dan
Rachel has just called to say that she saw a white bird rising up from near the hedge in Lower Sowerholme. Large wing span , trailing legs – an egret but she thought the legs were red which doesn’t fit with either Little or Great Egrets. Any ideas? Could be just the lighting? She also asked whether there are two kestrels around, as she has seen two in the vicinity.
On the 4th Jan, walking towards the orchard from the Long Pads, Hilary and I saw a bird struggling on the ice on Alder Pond ( the pond had been drained so there was a layer of ice over the mud). The bird took off carrying a smaller bird in its claws. A passer by said that it was a kestrel carrying a snipe but it looked too white to me ( without binoculars!!) and Dan thinks it was more likely to be a sparrow hawk. It had most probably caught a snip feeding nearby , dropped it onto the ice and retrieved it with difficulty hence the struggle. Very dramatic.