It’s been a very quiet period so quite a short edition of Nature Notes this month.
An intrepid band of seven souls braved the drizzle, chill and mud on 26th January for a couple of hours to make a start on the huge job of cleaning up the stream by the railway line and behind Bexmoor Way. Years of neglect meant that it was full of mud, sticks and overhanging branches, not to mention the ten sacks of rubbish discarded by thoughtless people. The following week a couple of the guys revisited the footpath along Piggy Dam and collected ANOTHER six bags of discards, and this, only a year after their last litter pick!
We have only made a dent but it’s a start and as I alluded to last month it would be wonderful if we can make a real impact before spring arrives when we will need to stop so as not to disturb nature too much. If you fancy helping, please give me a call.
As I write (4th February) the winter so far has remained mild so unless there’s been a big change between now and when you read this hopefully we will have seen the season off. Of course, ‘Beasts from the East’ hit us in March previously and even stayed until early April as I recall one year but fingers crossed for us gardeners and spring lovers that won’t be the case this year. So many plants were damaged, early bird eggs and young lost as well as frog spawn damaged that a repeat would be hard to take. Right now there are many flowers showing and buds appearing plus I’m hearing skylarks starting to sing to attract a mate and watching robins scrapping for their territories!
I hope some of you joined along with the ‘Big Garden Birdwatch’ back in late January and had a successful watch. It was a little disappointing here in our garden with just the usual suspects putting in an appearance but it was fairly damp and miserable whereas some frosty weather might have encouraged more little brown job (name used by birdwatchers for any of the large number of species of small brown passerine birds), to have ventured to the feeders. Blackbirds, robins, dunnocks, pigeons and house sparrows made up our collection and I noted on-line a week after the results started to come in that over six million sparrows had been counted so clearly they are recovering from the slump a decade ago.
We have just invested in two new sparrow colony boxes (three ‘houses’ per box) so hopefully us doing our bit will continue to assist this particular bird’s revival. Although it’s now March as you read this you still just about have time to put up any box and if you need any advice of what to buy and where to locate then please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Don’t forget to send all your nature-related photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or ring 01256 321108 for news. For all your bird food requirements, order it from me at ‘Bird Drop-ins’ use the former email address or ring me on 07900 648675 to place an order or get a form.