Walking across Flora Field (arable section) this morning during the volunteering session I flushed a large group of snipe (at least 6, probably 8-10) from the lower northern slope, towards Lower Sowerholme, and then a further 2 nearer Pony Wood. They must have been tucking into small creatures in the recently-spread manure. I was headed for the beetle banks and the water supply points, which needed marking with tape to alert the ploughing contractor, so I certainly didn’t cover the whole field. Maybe next season the flush count needs to include Flora Field as well as the wet areas, at least after the muck has been spread?
It was a very misty morning with low cloud and low visibility, but we heard geese passing over – greylag I think- and several curlews in the distance, down towards the estuary.
Four roe deer spotted this morning in Flora Field heading in the direction of Upper Sowerholme
Sparrowhawk hunting along the Longs Pads footpath this afternoon. Flying low between the hedgerows and bobbing up to perch on a post every 50 metres or so. Not sure whether male or female.
Recent sightings from Michael:
05/01: This morning at 10am I saw 3 small deer emerge from the trees near the corner of the Fauna path. They wandered along that Sowerholme field (I think that’s what it’s called!) then jumped over the fence/hedge into Flora Field. They then wandered up to Pony Wood for a bit then returned back to where they came from. Later (about 4pm) one of them was out again in that Sowerholme field (again, not sure what it’s called!)
I also saw a load of linnets in flora field yesterday (Friday) afternoon.
12/01: just seen a barn owl flying around Pony Wood (8am)
I saw a fox crossing the West Field this morning and then heard a very noisy woodpecker in Pony Wood. This afternoon a flock of 40ish linnets were having a mini murmeratio along the Long Pads footpath.
This morning while checking out progress around Willow pond we saw a mixed flock of over a hundred fieldfare and redwing.
This fieldfare was on the ground near the pond,
and the redwing was in an ash tree above the pond.
The recent change of wind direction to NE has brought both the birds and the cold weather.
Ian & Sue
The wildflower margins have been mown. We need to do this to strengthen the flowering plants to give them a chance against the more dominant grasses. The cuttings are still to be collected then everything is done for this year.
Could anyone help identify what is likely to have made this largish hole by footpath near Flora field – photo sent in by Michael (with his size 10 shoe next to it to show scale):
Badger, fox or something else? (click to show full-size)
These wildflowers were in the crop and are visible from Aldcliffe Rd. It will be harvested soon so hurry along if you want to catch a glimpse. Meanwhile 6 of us accompanied Graeme Skelcher in surveying the margins and were pleased that the resowing of the Aldcliffe Rd margin has produced results for the first time this year. We also saw a Comma, Painted Lady, Meadow Brown, Large and Small White butterflies and a Silver Y moth plus lots of bumblebees.
A single, female, row deer spotted crossing West Field on the morning of 12th July.