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Almost as good as last month!

Another very productive flush count. Despite the fields being as wet as they ever have been,  the rush is hosting a large number of snipe. The total of 111, including 13 jack, is just shy of February’s excellent tally. Things started slowly with 1 in the Hay Meadow, 2 in Upper Sowerholme and 5 in School Pond (into which only the most intrepid members of the team chose to venture).  Big Meadow yielded 103 snipe, at times flying up in such in numbers that it was getting very difficult to keep count.

Other sightings: 2 reed bunting and 4 starlings in School Pond, a curlew in Lower Sowerholme plus a heron on Willow Pond, 3 female pheasants and a wren in Big Meadow marsh, and 3 mallards that we seemed to be chasing around the reserve. There is also a lot of frogspawn about. And on the edge of the Fauna path against Big Meadow was this early caterpillar. Can anyone identify?

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Volunteer session 12th October 2019

I was away this week and didn’t get the chance to post Jonathan’s message. Here is what we actually did:

The monthly Saturday morning work session attracted 11 volunteers on a bright morning. The session was curtailed as the volunteers joined other Fairfield well-wishers for the official opening of the Pony Wood path at 12 noon.

Before then we

  • Sowed a wildflower mix gathered from the Reserve and other local areas over the summer in the wildflower bed at Howson’s gate.
  • The seed included some gathered from the purple-ramping fumitory discovered in the Flora Field margin. Three patches of this seed were sown at the Eastern boundary of the wildflower patch.
  • We had some of the bee-friendly seed mix left over so this was sown in the Southern margin of Flora Field.
  • A start was made trimming the Pads footpath / Flora Field hedge.
  • The table and refreshment were barrowed to the top of the Pony Wood path where the opening event was to take place. Notices were posted and after the event everything was carted back!



Saw a sparrowhawk in the allotments this morning with a small bird squealing in its talons. It then got chased off over Edenbreck Farm Cottage by a magpie (with squealing prey still firmly gripped in its talons)

Broad-bodied chasers (dragonflies) and Meadow brown butterflies

Saturday 29 June

A bit difficult to see but a couple of broad-bodied chasers at the School Pond – a male – and thought I also saw the golden abdomen of a female dive over the hedge.  Also a male at the Alder Pond which I had a better view of with binoculars.

Also Meadow brown butterflies were out and about in the hay meadow feeding on thistles and fighting with a Painted lady.