One Brown Hare sighted browsing on vegetation at the foot of the far hedge in West Field (Pony Wood end) at around 7am this morning (02/05/20).
Swallows were swooping over the Wednesday Work Group as we worked to clear algae from the Alder Pond in Big Meadow. We were careful not to go near the moorhen’s nest and found this newt.
As we were packing up, a mother mallard emerged from the marsh with her chicks, we think eight, and led them on to the water, clearly appreciating our clearance.
Two brown hares observed at the gate between the Fauna path and the eastern gate into the Grammar School Field. They disappeared under the hedge and possibly across the Hay Meadow before I could follow them.
Orange tip butterflies observed in the Orchard and Paddock whilst we were volunteering yesterday
Last Wednesday (8th February) as the Hedge Working Party past Little Wood we saw a stoat dart across the wood.
Today (11th Feb) we saw a biggish group of starlings adjacent to West Field. I would say a couple of hundred. Also a flock of linnets in the tree adjacent to the Pads footpath.
Oh and a moorhen in Big Meadow next to the Fauna path
Three teal on Alder Pond this morning, plus a song thrush in the Orchard.
Also, I have been meaning to report that the Hedge Working Party observed a hare in Lower Sowerholme on 25th January.
Sorry I didn’t give notice of the session as I thought the blog was ‘under repair’. Now I know its back up and running here is the report of what we did.
A rather disappointing turnout of only 11 volunteers on a lovely winter’s morning. Problems with temperamental hedge trimming machines also made for a poor start but once under way we got a lot done:
- We finished weeding the wildflower plot of couch grass.
- The root-suckered blackthorn alongside the Fauna path was cut back.
- We finished off cutting back bramble invading Carr House Meadow. This will need further work digging out the rooted stems.
- The willow living screen alongside the School pond was trimmed, repaired and strengthened. Still a lot to do here.
- The pruning of the Orchard fruit trees continued.
- Corrugated iron sheets were transported to Lower Sowerholme in readiness for further brash burning.
- The very much overgrown and underused ‘log benches’ in Pony Wood were taken up and used to create a habitat pile within the wood.
- Brash from hedge laying which had strayed onto the Stump Circle was dragged back into the woodland.
- A broken strand of barbed wire near the Ash Tree dogleg on the Fauna path was repaired.
- Two tables and a gazebo were erected for the afternoon wassailing.
The wild flower plot behind the Fauna Stones has been only a modest success. Goodness knows why the re-seeding in March has not been more successful. However, instances of the four annual plants in the mix have appeared (see below) which will set seed. It may be that the perennials in the mix will come in future years.
The annuals are:
Two sightings of brown hares this morning in the Grammar School fields. They were some distance apart so I think they were two individuals.
And some flowers:
Water figwort on the edge of the Hay Meadow (17th July)
Branched bur-weed in Upper Sowerholme (this is a first sighting for me) (17th July)
Water cress at the cattle crossing (20th July)
Pineapple weed Pads footpath 20th July
Bear’s breech, probably a garden escapee but a nice specimen in the Orchard 21st July
Silver weed in Flora field 21st July
And so far as I know our only foxglove, a tenacious chap clung to the Aldcliffe Road wall 21st July