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A Good Friday

Friday, March 30th 2018

Despite the unpromising start due to the heavy overnight rain, today has proved to be a good Friday.  We have an Easter Walk laid out around the Reserve with pictures of eggs and rabbits tied to trees and benches, with a set of clues available for this in the Activity Room of the Field Centre. 

We have been fortunate to have two of the volunteers in today with Jenny catching up on the 'Friends of Foxglove' and the '100 Club'.

Colin has been in to fill the feeders ready for any bird ringing taking place over the weekend.  Given the rate at which some of the birds empty the feeders, they may need replenishing before any ringing takes place.  One visitor asked me what the little 'hutches' were, so was given a guided tour of how a net ride works including use of the hoppers to attract the likes of Bullfinches.  The Field Centre garden has seen an impressive amount of Chaffinches today, as well as Bramblings, Siskins, Redpolls and Reed Buntings. 

While talking to Colin in the Field Centre Garden this morning, we were treated to a male Sparrowhawk flying through and banking round no more than an arm's length away from us as it sped off into the trees.

Continuing with work on replacing cable ties with the broader tree ties for staked trees has been the task of the afternoon.  These will put less pressure on the trees, although in most cases the ties are quite loose to allow the tree to move to help in developing the root system. 

Some judicious pruning of overhanging trees will help the younger trees get to the light.  One young Oak has been so over-shadowed that it has started growing parallel to the ground to seek the sun.  The removal of a few small stems above it should mean that it can now start growing upwards again.

Not far from here, two Little Grebe were seen on the Lake and a Chiffchaff was heard, seen and then photographed.  After the quick dash by the Frogs to spawn a couple of weeks ago, we have been waiting for the Toads to appear.  

This is not a good picture as the camera couldn't focus quickly enough, but there are now several male Toads in the Scapes, waiting for the females to arrive.  Let's hope that the snowy weather predicted for Monday isn't too bad.

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