Your Wildlife Spots

Honey bee, hard at work

After that gale from the north, a couple of weeks or so ago, we realised that the large branch had split off our Salix hookeriana, a pussy willow with large male catkins, much loved by bees, Blue Tits, House Sparrows etc and a wonderful sight against a patch of blue sky. You could see and hear the bees but even with binoculars, not easy to ID.

Anyway, I thought it would be good to take cuttings so immersed quite a few branches in water and decided to place some in the front garden where we could also enjoy them.

New Garden Butterfly Survey website

Following on from the Big Butterfly Count, Butterfly Conservation have launched a new web site for people to report on the butterflies seen in their gardens on a more regular basis, say once a week.

Several of us will remember Brian's work on butterfly transects and I know that those of us who contribute to the BTO Garden Birdwatch have the opportunity to record butterflies and other species each week but this might be ideal for those who would like to continue the butterfly count through out the year.

Follow up to our Gonamena valley walk

Several of us commented on the way in which the post industrial landscape was still bare ground in areas yet elsewhere, gorse, bramble, heather was slowly recolonising the ground.

New advice on farm ponds

I know that several of us have an interest in ponds and this week, the Duchy College Rural Business School's Journal arrived ~ the Environmental Advice section had a very interesting article about farm ponds with recommendations on how to avoid them becoming a dark sink hole for run-off full of chemicals and fertilizer.

Instead, think of a pond complex with one deep water pool surrounded by shallower and seasonal ponds all enclosed within a wide drawdown zone, very interesting, I will keep the article.

History & Archaeology of Kit Hill ~ free talks

Thought that this might be of interest although not exactly wildlife (but it is a place that many of us visit, remember the cuckoos?).

The Tamar Valley centre at Drakewalls are hosting a talk by Wessex Archaeology on the History and Archaeology of Kit Hill on Wednesday, March 9th at 7pm to 7:45pm.

New web-site for Cornwall Wildlife Trust

CWT have published their new web-site and it is very different! I have just been checking our event details on the What's on section and will investigate the rest of it in a minute. They are planning to provide a page for all the affiliated groups in due course.

Click here to link

Early sightings

As everyone says, it's a funny season! Frogspawn in our garden pond has appeared several weeks early. We saw a Swallow flying over Luckett allotment on Jan 2nd and a birding friend saw 2 at Halton Quay on 4th Jan.

Two Bloody-nosed Beetles crossed the road in front of us on two occasions a couple of days ago.

Frogspawn?

First frogspawn this morning in our pond in the field here at Middlewood. Interesting to compare with last five years as follows~

2011 Jan 25th; 2012 Jan 19th; 2013 Jan 29th; 2014 Feb 18th; 2015 Feb 13th  

So for this year, and in comparison, Jan 27th is not all that early.

In the '70's we used to see frogspawn as early as Boxing Day with a second spawning in February but the very early layers seemed to have been slowly wiped out by a series of very hard frosts. 

Tree planters needed at Stara Woods, NEW DATE!

About 250 young trees have been ordered to add to ones planted last winter in Broad Wood at the top of Stara Woods (by the bridge over the river Lynher between Bathpool & Rilla Mill Map ref: SX289738).

We planned to start this on Saturday February 6th but have had to postpone to next Saturday FEBRUARY 13th., meeting first by the bridge at 10am. Tools, food etc can be taken up to the barn by Land Rover while we make our way up the footpaths to the top.

Water Vole

Yesterday (Sunday 1st November), Eric and I, wishing to take advantage of a day of unseasonably warm and cloudless weather, took a walk along part of the Bude Canal.

Not far past the new weir and fish ladder, between Helebridge and Rodds Bridge, we spied a floating wooden structure which we recognised as a device used for recording footprints of whatever may pass within.  

Almost miraculously as we were contemplating this structure we saw a creature enter it and come through the other side before disappearing into the water and then into the bank.

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