Tag Archives: fauna

Wildlife from the Wednesday Work Group

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.

IMG_0730

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.

20180502_113016

 

Stoat, starlings and linnets

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

Volunteering session Saturday 14th 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.

Wildflower plot

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:

Corn marigold

20160718_184756

Common poppy

20160718_184803

Corn camomile

20160718_184810

Cornflower

20160718_184826

Hares and flowers

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)

20150717_091655

Branched bur-weed in Upper Sowerholme (this is a first sighting for me) (17th July)

20150717_103127

Water cress at the cattle crossing (20th July)

20150720_114128

Pineapple weed Pads footpath 20th July

20150720_142735

Bear’s breech, probably a garden escapee but a nice specimen in the Orchard 21st July

20150721_112505

Silver weed in Flora field 21st July

20150721_121117

And so far as I know our only foxglove, a tenacious chap clung to the Aldcliffe Road wall 21st July

20150721_121529

Moth and flowers

Whilst exploring the Reserve the other day several of us came across this moth in Upper Sowerholme which has now been identified as a male ‘Drinker’ Euthris potatoria. I know nothing about moths so I am not sure whether this is rare or not but it isn’t in our Collins Book of Moths and Butterflies so it can’t be all that common!

IMG_20150710_114038068 IMG_20150710_114033944

And, more prosaically, are a few more flowers

Hedge Bindweed on the Pads footpath 12 July

 

20150712_140400

Meadow Vetchling in the Oak Circle of the Orchard 11th July

20150711_112043

Lords and ladies in the Orchard. About to turn red but the almost always fall over when red so this will have to do for the moment.

20150712_143556