Two song thrushes amongst a gang of blackbirds in the Orchard on Tuesday 28th January
Sorry I forgot to post Jonathan’s announcement of our proposed tasks for the Saturday session but here is what we actually did:
Fifteen volunteers attended the monthly Saturday volunteering session on a lovely spring morning.
- The shed roof was weeded, particularly of sycamore saplings
- Benches were trimmed of invasive vegetation in the Orchard, down the Pads footpath and along the Fauna path.
- Keith began the summer pruning of the fruit trees, assisted byStuart.
- The new saplings we planted this winter were trimmed round to increase their light and prevent envelopment:
- Along the Pads footpath
- Up the new hedge in Pony Wood
- In the new extension on the East side of Pony Wood.
- Along the southern hedge boundary of the Flora Field
- The new gorse in Pony Wood was also trimmed although it’s not looking too strong at the moment.
- We made a valiant effort to identify the patches of Spanish Bluebells which the wildflower surveyor had informed us of but without success. We need greater expertise to identify them for removal.
Whilst marking out the beetle banks ready for the ploughman yesterday I put up a snipe from the marshy area alongside Aldcliffe Road and then disturbed a brown hare which ran off across the Flora Field.
On my way home a song thrush was serenading the Orchard from the trees by the Towneley Close entrance.
The Hedge Working Party were mainly working near Pony Wood this morning and so had a look in the wood for the recently reported little owl. We didn’t see that but we did put up a brown hare which went bounding off through the wood.
Later I had a lovely sighting of a mistle thrush in the Orchard
Orange tip butterflies observed in the Orchard and Paddock whilst we were volunteering yesterday
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.
Whilst preparing for the Ragwort Working Party yesterday morning a woman passing by told us that she had seen baby barn owls at dusk on the top of the shed stone wall. She said that they and their parents could be heard calling to each other in the trees. We looked and listened after the volunteer session last night but without result.
Newly observed flowers include teasels in the Orchard:
The first of our wildflower plugs in flower: greater bird’s foot trefoil:
And what I think is bloody crane’s bill in the Hay Meadow
Two song thrushes busy in the Orchard this morning.
I saw a heron in the middle of the Grammar School field today. I have seen it there before quietly preening itself. Perhaps to get away from all the ducks on the canal.
Two jays in the Orchard.
Oh, and a lunatic youth riding a motor bike at full pelt along the Fauna path. I shouted at him but received a mouthful of abuse in return.