Tuesday 29th September

The geese have taken advantage of the high pressure settled over the country and started their migration south. Saturday saw the start, one skein after another, Sunday was not quite as many and yesterday only a few, Do they know something about the forthcoming weather that our super computers don’t.

Some other birds flocking together are the Goldfinches, on the daily walk there are three flocks varying from 100 to 200 in each.

Yesterday morning there were 10 dead and gutted rabbits on the main path and according to one walker they were deposited between 10.30 and 11.30 on Sunday morning, what a waste.

On a brighter note the rose leaves are turning a bright red. which is much more pleasant than the cow pats.

Bri

Hope they had belly ache

Last week checked the ripeness of the apples on one of the regular providers and decided to leave them for another week. Returned yesterday to find that the cows had scoffed all those in easy reach, including any windfalls, didn’t know cows ate apples, see photos.

Last year when the cows were first released into the new fenced area, we new they would be trouble. It didn’t take them long to locate the bird feeding area and pull down all the feeders that were in their reach, all of which had to be relocated higher up the tree, they then trashed the table, still to be replaced, and they appear to leave behind much more than they consume. ( hope the all suffered with belly ache).

Noticed Gall apples on one of the small Oak trees, there are only two or three on the reserve, it’s amazing how the small wasp manages to find them.

Bri

Wednesday 16th Sept

We spotted our first Stonechat for a long time, nice to see they are surviving, not seen any since early in the year.

There was a flock of Wheatear feeding in the field next to the chalet park, topping up for the flight south.

The hills have been very clear for the last few mornings, where else can you see such a wonderful view.

Bob and Bri

Friday 11th Sept

The days are growing shorter and it’s much cooler until the sun rises, there are a few dragonflies about and we saw a Blue Damselfly this morning. The furry caterpillars are now on the move topping up before the hibernation, see lots on the paths.

We still see a few Common Toadlets but they appear to be very small for this time of the year, see photo.

The five cygnets are still doing fine, this could be down to the new parents or just keeping them at the north end of the pond.

It’s blackberry time again and the fox are enjoying a change of diet, and the spiders hoping for a few crane fly.

Bob and Bri

Thursday 3rd Sept

We have now noticed three different Chaffinches with fungus on the legs, see photo. The following answer was given on the RSPB site to a similar queries
Birds can suffer from a number of skin conditions that affect the feet. In a chaffinch, it is overwhelmingly most likely to be chaffinch viral papilloma. This virus is specific to chaffinches only. Although it looks unsightly and certainly is a great nuisance and irritation to the bird concerned, it is rarely the cause of demise for the bird. The papilloma has low contageousness, and birds need a close contact with each other for the infection to be passed on. This is probably why it is normally seen in clusters. It is believed that a bird will need a cut or a scratch on its foot for the disease agent to enter and infect it. There is no cure for this kind of skin infections in wild birds, and the only thing we can do to help is to make sure that there are no sharp bits in the feeders that could risk a bird cutting its foot as it is looking for food.

We also found another raided bees nest see photos, and no sign of what the raider took.

Bob and Bri