Arrivals and Departures

Wednesday, December 27th 2017

A short but intense hail storm accompanied by thunder made an interesting start to the day but, as the sun rose, it became clear that the Wetland was the most affected by the cold.  Previously, the Lake and the Scrapes had been the most frozen, but this time they have remained clear. 

The first job then was to make sure that there was plenty of water for the ponies, so 10 gallons were taken to fill up their water container.  Feeling the temperature of Lark, by pushing fingers under the hairs of his coat, showed just how much insulation they have before both ponies took advantage of the new water supply.  Going back to the Scrapes to put apples out on the Water Vole rafts, everything was very bright, still and clear, especially the water.  So clear and still that the only thing that gave away that there was life around was the tiny black speck of a Water Beetle braving clear water to find refuge under a leaf.

The increased cold has meant that more birds are taking advantage of the feeding stations near to the Field Centre and the hides.  The number of pheasants continues to increase with 18 being counted in the Field Centre Garden in the last couple of days. The usual suspects were there, with a range of finches and tits, Nuthatches and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.  These were tested by dashes through by a female Sparrowhawk with no success, even when she changed her route and suddenly appeared from a different angle.  Perhaps the other birds were warned when all the Pheasants suddenly ducked their heads in unison.

In amongst all of this was a Brambling, one of the first to be seen this Winter. Hopefully this will be the sign of more to come and they will become a more common sight on the Reserve in the next weeks.

One of this afternoon's tasks was to move the sheep off the Reserve.  They have done an excellent job while they have been grazing the Moorland, but as they now require supplementary feeding their impact will be reduced considerably. 

What can be a major operation on some reserves was achieved in a couple of minutes.  It was almost as if they knew what was coming as they had moved from being spread out across the Moorland and the Middle Moor to being close to the gate where they would soon be leaving.  There was no further need for herding skills as they all responded to the farmer's Land Rover and a feed bag and, with the gate now open, all went straight through and are now grazing on the grass on the other side of the fence from the Reserve.  Lark and Taurus will soon be moving to continue grazing the Moorland.

Towards the end of the day, a bright moon and clear sky confirmed that it is going to be below freezing tonight.  The forecast is for -3 Centigrade at least, so no doubt even the clear waters of the Scrapes will be frozen in the morning.


(0) Comments:

There are no comments for this blog post yet. Why not start the discussion? - use the form below:


Leave a Comment:







Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

The following question is designed to make sure you are a real person and helps us cut down on spam.
Your comments will appear here once an administrator has reviewed them.

What is missing: North, South, East? (4 character(s) required)


Back to Top

Recent Blog Posts:

Another day of Heath tidying

Posted 16th January 2018

Continuing on from Saturday's work tidying up the Heath we got to work chopping and removing the last pile of brash, all the while adding…

Read More

Blue Skies after the Rain

Posted 15th January 2018

As is so often the case, Monday is a quiet day after a busy Sunday, and where there had been well over 20 visitors yesterday,…

Read More

A Gentle Stroll

Posted 14th January 2018

It has been dark and grey and black and dark grey for days, but there was something in the sky that caught my eye this…

Read More

Reserve presentation work

Posted 13th January 2018

Sometimes the little things matter a great deal. We spent the first part of the day wandering the reserve replacing old signs with new laminated…

Read More
 
 
 

Sitemap | Accessibility Policy | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions |