A walk around the reserve on a sunny afternoon gave us :
Snipe on School Pond, a Greater Spotted Woodpecker at Edenbreck and another in Pony Wood,Goldfinch by Lucy Brook, a Wren by the Orchard Path,Redwing Fieldfare and Starlings in the West Field then Pony Wood,and a large flock of Linnets – they seem to circle a territory from the trees at the far side of the West Field, to the crossing of Lucy Brook , then across to a favourite perch on a hedgerow tree by the path next to the arable field, and then up to Pony Wood
The first calf of the year, a heifer named Feame, was born on 25th January. Mother and baby are reported to be doing well. Others should follow soon.
The message from the graziers is that this year’s Mums are all young and it will be their first calf. As a result, they are likely to be extremely protective of their babies. They are unlikely to tolerate approaches from the rest of the herd, let alone people.
So, if you are on the Fauna footpath, you are welcome to stop to watch the calves (who will probably be in the Grammar School Field) and take photographs. But keep back from the fencing – and certainly do not try to climb over or stroke the cows. Do not let dogs bark or children get noisy and excited near them as this will disturb them and there is a risk that the mothers might lunge.
If you spot any problems with the cattle, please phone the graziers on 07720 598492 or call at Edenbreck Cottage (by the bollards at the end of Sunnyside Lane).
We all know we are strong on magpies and don’t usually report sightings of this destructive bird but yesterday we saw 19, yes 19! of them on one bush alongside Lucy Brook.
The geese seem to have moved on to pastures new, no sign of them for several days now.
There was a moorhen walking along the hedgerow between Carr House Meadow and the Gun Range this morning. A rather odd location for this bird? But perhaps the really cold weather has altered its behaviour.
A greater spotted woodpecker was seen in the Orchard just before the Wassailing yesterday. Plus the song thrush.
The female brambling was once again with the chaffinch flock at Pony Wood today where up to 80 linnet were also feeding in the nearby arable field.
c900 pink-footed geese were still grazing on the drumlin and staying firmly outside the reserve!
A brown hare was in Big Meadow.
Two independent and reliable reports to me that the geese have at last ventured into the Nature Reserve, one report of geese in the Flora Field and one that they are in the West Field. Hurrah!!!!
The question which occurs to me now is what has been the pattern in the past? Have geese regularly used these fields before, or occasionally, or never?
Can our bird enthusiasts or longer serving observers of the countryside assist?
Song thrush observed in the Orchard this morning.
Still hundreds of geese on the hillside just beyond our West Field, but never in it!!!!!
A heron took off from the Flora Field as we walked on the canal towpath this afternoon. And round in the Orchard are the first snowdrops.
But those geese on the hillside still refuse to cross the hedge into the West Field! The grass is noticeably greener on the hillside, the result of intensive fertilization. Is this why they prefer it?
Here is Jonathan’s message
There’ll be a volunteer session at Fairfield Orchard, Fauna and Flora this
Saturday morning, Jan 10th, starting at the usual time of 10.00am and
finishing at 1.00pm or thereabouts.
As you’d expect for time for this time of year, wellington boots should be
at the front of your mind before you leave the house.
On the agenda for this week:
* Finish clearing leaf debris from the path to the Orchard.
* Continue removing the ash trees from Upper Sowerholme.
* Finish clearing self seeded thorns from Graham’s Wassailing bonfire site.
* Clear debris.
* Cut the ivy growing around trees in the Stump Circle area.
Clear bramble enveloping the hedges alongside the Orchard / Big Meadow path.
* Continue pruning the Orchard fruit trees
* We have now finished laying the east hedge of West Field but there are
some finishing off jobs to do: plant hedge saplings in the gaps, cover the
elder and sycamore stumps with black plastic, tidy up wood and wire
removed from the hedge.
* There are also some other tidying jobs in the West Field: retrieve and
replace tree guards, a small fence repair, move some timber to the Shed,
move the nose pump stand and pipe to the Shed.
May I also remind you that the Hedge Working Party has resumed it’s
Wednesday morning sessions – meet from 9.30 at the Shed, and remember to
bring your own refreshments. And wellingtons.
And that’s your lot for now,