A Mixed Bunch
Tuesday, March 22nd 2016
I am starting to form a sort of morning routine on coming in; put grain near the duck feeding platform, check the lake dam, feed/set the duck trap for ringing purposes, then into the van to head to the Field Centre, park up there and walk to check the wetlands. It is a special, peaceful time before actually starting work.
The bulk of our volunteers arrive around 9, and we go out about 9.30. Today’s jobs had us scattered somewhat, really to try to tidy up after our past workings. So the self-seeded Birch which was pulled before I started was dragged by one gang to a burn site, then the two Anne’s gathered frogspawn for the tanks we cleaned yesterday in the Field Centre. John and I went to patch a couple of Water Vole holes… yes, the saga continues, and Ron filled the bird feeders.
I wish it was easy to find the Water Vole holes at the wetland but it is not, it usually means getting wet and muddy, but I am starting to ‘get my eye in’ for looking for the holes that drain our main water inlet ponds. Anyway, the two holes found were filled.
The guys doing the birch had finished a lot of the burning and left Eddie, Brian and Vince to tend to the fire, while the others cleared more wood in the orchard and covered an old burn site.
The two Anne’s had stocked the tanks in the Field Centre, allowing me to finish off with the pumps.
It was a short volunteering day as a leaving party was to be held for Lisa our Reserve Manager who is now heading back to the wilds of Scotland . Lisa, I wish you well.
The afternoon was spent with the Dales School cutting back Gorse, and our Honey Bee experts, Alistair and Alison Sheppard checking our Field Centre Hive for any potential problems. They were also giving me pointers on what to look out for before leaving me to the solitude I started the day with.
Wetland levels rising as I checked last thing, putting up a Short-eared Owl in the process, plus a couple of Roe Deer sprinted away through the conifer woodland.