A lapwing was swooping and diving over Flora Field between 4 and 4.30 this afternoon. It occasionally landed and then was off again. I first observed it whilst walking on the Pads footpath and it was still in evidence as I walked back along the canal.
Whist working in the Reserves today we have observed three roe deer (this morning in Upper and Lower Sowerholme, this afternoon as brazen as you like in the middle of the Flora Field); a heron stood in the middle of the School Pond; two song thrush in the hedge alongside Lucy Brook; four lapwings calling over the Flora Field; two partridges set up from the Flora Field.
Posting on behalf of Graham. In addition to the lapwings, he noticed a pair of shelduck in Flora Field this morning. They seemed quite interested in one of the grass fallow strips. He wonders whether they might have been looking for a nest site?
I was in the West Field this morning having a look at the hedge we laid and ‘gapped up’ this winter. Things seem to be coming along fine. It is noticeable just how few flowers there are in the previously heavily fertilised field, unable to compete with the grass. However, it was nice to see a few bluebells coming up in the hedge bottom and toward the northern end of the field there are quite a few cuckoo flowers as well as lots of the inevitable chickweed. I did notice a little common vetch and common mouse ear as well.
Lapwings again in the Flora Field and that very noisy woodpecker in the Wood.
Whilst it was still bright and sunny, we wandered round the boundaries of the nature reserve early yesterday evening. The woodpecker in Pony Wood was going at it hammer and tongs, the sound carrying far across the fields. After hearing from Jon Carter about the decline in recent years of greenfinch numbers because of a virus, Paul was delighted to see a couple as we paused on the Long Pads path. They were perched briefly on a wire fence at the boundary between Flora Field (new name for the arable) and Lower Sowerholme (formerly known as Gleesons field). But we couldn’t spot the grey partridge in West Field, and were starting to think that the lapwings had moved on. Just as we were about to get to the end of the reserve by the Aldcliffe Road houses, we heard a brief call: two displaying together over the ridge of Flora Field. One promptly landed at the top of the field, silhouetted against the skyline, distinctive crest showing clearly. Magical.