Shell duck and roe deer

On Monday afternoon we saw two shell duck in the West Field wetland and a couple of roe deer peeping out of Upper Sowerholme toward the Fauna path.

Did anyone record the row deer we disturbed last Saturday whilst sowing the Flora Field seed margin? It ran out of Pony Wood and across the ploughed field and into Lower Sowerholme.

Yet another poor count

This morning’s tally of snipe was a measly 15 (including 1 jack). 14 flushed in Big Meadow, one in Hay Meadow. This season is running well behind. The total for the winter so far is standing at 73. In all but one of the previous years we have been over the 200 mark at this point.

Better news was the sighting of two woodcock in Upper Sowerholme by one of the team whilst the others were distracted by a roe deer. There were also five teal on School Pond.

Another disappointing tally

The flush count this morning revealed a measly total of 22 snipe, 3 of which were jacks. Three birds in the Hay Meadow, the rest in Big Meadow. The running total for this winter stands at just 58, the lowest it has been since we started the winter counts in 2013/14. But it is still mild and also today very wet in the marshes, so the snipe may well be on alternative feeding sites.

Better news was a sighting of two brown hares (separately) in West Field. A small roe deer moved off into Upper Sowerholme, and quite a large frog was disturbed in the Hay Meadow up towards Lucy’s Pool.

Little owl???

Whilst on a walk along the Pads footpath this afternoon one of the regular dog walkers reported to me he had just seen (1.30pm) a small owl with vole like creature in its beak flying from Pony / Little wood area across to the small copse in Mr Ayrton’s fields.

As this was a diurnal sighting of a small owl we thought it highly likely to be a little owl.

The same man observed two roe deer last week crossing West Field, jumping over the Pads footpath and disappearing across the Flora field. He has a video of the first section.

I encouraged him to join the blog.

Deer, birds and flowers

Three sightings of roe deer today, two very definite ones of a single deer running through Lower Sowerholme and then later in the Flora Field heading into Pony Wood. The third sighting of two deer between Lower Sowerholme and Flora Field rather more certain.

Whilst in the Big Meadow Bog ragworting we put up a couple of snipe.

Two new flowers to report. First water mint in Lower Sowerholme


And finally, now that the haymaking has finished we can report Common Spotted Orchid in the Hay Meadow. About 20 of them in total but we didn’t want to encourage people climbing the gates by announcing them earlier. This photo is from 22nd June.


Wildlife today

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.

Roe deer

As the Ragwort Working Party entered the Hay Meadow this morning we disturbed a roe deer in Upper Sowerholme. It bounded across the boggy land and away towards Flora.