Monday May 4th, 2015
News of Wildlife walks for this summer - on Saturday 27th June we are having another
'Baps and Bats' evening, when David Lee will be leading us around the farm buildings and yards and helping us to identify flying bats with his machines. I look forward to hearing the amazingly addictive up and down sound made by lesser Horse-shoe bats! We'll meet an hour or so before that, probably around 9pm, for a barbequed snack cooked by Will, meat from Legges lovely shop of course. Food and event free but donations to local nature charity welcomed. Please bring a torch and warm clothing, also remember there may be gnats flying!
Before then there's another chance to meet Ben MacDonald (of the BBC One Programme) who'll be leading a walk through the orchards looking at his ongoing nest-box project and we'll be hearing about his earnest and dogged pursuit of the Lesser-spotted Woodpecker! (and other rare beauties). The walk will take place on Sunday June 7th, at 2.30pm. Bring rugged footwear as the grass is uneven. there will be refreshments (free like the walk) after Ben's walk.
Work has been ongoing in the orchards this winter, with many days spent removing mistletoe from apple trees, some of which have been saved by this action. There are many dead or dying apple trees, mostly relatively recent hybrids, which can't cope with the damp conditions, so we are beginning to replant with older varieties of pears. Unfortunately there are not enough working winters in the year!
Blossom is just coming up to full strength (cider apples are often late flowerers) but very few bees. We now have much-sprayed new cider orchards belonging to a neighbour on one boundary.
Redstarts are now here, swallows and cuckoo too, a reed-warbler by the sewage ponds, and a duck who nested beneath a rosemary bush outside my kitchen has already hatched her 5 ducklings and taken them off to the pond. Exciting spring days!