Two summers ago, the Hay Meadow acquired its first orchids – a little patch of Common Spotted Orchids, probably slowly developed from seeds in the green hay scattered in 2011 but possibly from seeds blown in more recently, who knows?  Last year the patch was a bit bigger, and this year there are quite a few scattered individual plants in both the Hay Meadow and Carr House Meadow.  Mostly they aren’t easy to see in among the rich vegetation, but there is a nice example which is visible from the Fauna path: it’s between the two gates into the Hay Meadow.  To judge by other local hay meadow restorations (e.g. Brown Robin Reserve at Grange over Sands), within a few more years they should be all over the place.

Pheasant and Little Owl

Walking around the reserve this evening we spotted this male pheasant in Lower Sowerholme,DSCN5426

as well as the little owl on the post between the arable field and the wood extension.


The owl subsequently  flew off into Pony wood where it chased off a magpie.

Hares and owl

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Thursday 22 June around 8.30 p.m. – two hares at the edge of the arable field below Pony Wood. The longer I looked, the lower they sank into the vegetation. Then the rear end of an owl in the Pony Wood “extension”. And after a week of thinking, “That sounds like a partridge!”, I finally saw the culprit.

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.

The Hare and the Pheasant(s)

Yesterday, we were watching the brown hare feeding in the bird mix plants along the side of the arable field,


when it ran along the edge of the field and had a stand-off with this hen pheasant.

They were about 5 feet apart!


I did not notice until I uploaded this photo that the hen had a chick with it – and there may be more than one about.