Rounding off the week
Friday, February 9th 2018
The weather today was supposed to be sunny, but snow started falling at the start of the day. Luckily, it only lasted for about half an hour and wasn't lying on the ground. Not long after that the predicted blue skies did appear although there has been a biting wind all day.
The ease of checking on the ponies first thing always depends on being able to locate them. Approaching the gate onto the Moorland a small, almost square, light patch was showing against the dark green of a large patch of gorse right at the other end of the area. This was either the pale nose colouring of an Exmoor pony or one of the parachute flares that had been used during military exercises during the week. When it moved it quickly became obvious that this was Lark who was already walking forward to see what was going on. However, there were also a couple of parachute flares which had landed on the Moorland that were quickly collected.
A check on the work of yesterday included how the dams on the Vole Ponds were working, and the water was coming over the top of the dam, but these will need to be checked again as the pressure of water behind each dam will exploit any weakness.
Colin was in to do his normal round of the bird feeders and he regularly brings in fat balls which he makes at home. These have proved highly successful and attract a lot of birds to the Field Centre garden. While many of them were busy trying to get to the fat balls, five Long-tailed Tits took advantage of the lack of competition on the ground and quickly went through much of the food scattered there below the feeders.
A final job with the Volunteers yesterday was to work on removing Gorse and Bramble from an area of woodland close between Risedale Beck and the Wetland. This allowed the trees growing there to be identified and then thinned to allow more spave for the stronger ones to grow. The removal of some of the Silver Birch and self-seeded Sitka Spruce will allow the Oak, Scots Pine, Hazel and Rowan more room to develop.
Two separate areas were started and the plan is to work towards each other to create a more open patch of young woodland. One of these is already looking much better, and work will continue on thinning these areas over the next couple of weeks.
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