Work for Spring Rising

Tuesday, March 14th 2017

It is no surprise that on Tuesday volunteer day we were still clearing up areas from the recent tree works. Our first priority was to finish taking a few logs and brash from a Bluebell laden bank on Risedale Beck. The amount of emerging Bluebells on the area now opened up to the sun is amazing and will be well worth a look at in a few weeks’ time when in bloom.

John repaired a loose step above the bank as we toiled below.

We had folk in a number of areas - it was a day for multi-tasking! Jackie and Brian continued the morning filling the hoppers with seed surplus to the rape seed harvest from one of our local farms. The seed in these hoppers is a great source of food for the numerous Bullfinches around the reserve.


Brash needed to be removed from a number of areas….

…. as well as finishing off the coppicing near the Wetland Orchard

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped out today.

In other news, the frog spawn is unmissable around the reserve ….

… but now the focus is on the Common Toads, which for the past few evenings on leaving the reserve we have had to stop on the exit track to remove from our path! They are leaving their winter hibernation sites and returning to our ponds to spawn. If anyone spots the long cords of toad spawn, as opposed to the clumps of Frog spawn above, please let us know - we've not seen any this year...yet...

Another highlight today was this Bank Vole which fed on seed below the Field Centre kitchen bird feeders. This little chap went back and forth a few times feeding and collecting, allowing me to get a few snaps and a video.

Bank Voles are a staple diet for Owls (their bones are often found in owl pellets) and other raptors. They are also prey for foxes and, given the chance, Otters and Badgers. It is not surprising then that they can have 5 litters a year consisting of 3-5 young and they have a high mortality rate.


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