Nature notes from John Holt
The 5th of January 2015 – wish you all a happy and healthy new year. We are in the depth of our winter and yet nature is already signalling its preparation for spring. The ducks are pairing up and the Rooks on the A30 Rookery have started to repair their nests. On the ground in the woodlands daffodils and Lords and Ladies are showing through and in the fields Rape and Beans are beginning to turn the fields green again.
On the feathered side the Redwings and Fieldfares (pictured) are now with us in good numbers, say goodbye to the hedgerow berries, and Woodcock have been reported at the Weston Colley, Stoke Charity and Giddy Bridge. The Woodcock may stay or go on to France and even as far as North Africa. Still no news from South Wonston on the Starlings?
The river is running well and in fact over the Christmas period actually dropped a few centimetres – the Brown Trout are working hard, lots of redds and fish movement. Sticklebacks are also in abundance keeping the Egret and the Kingfisher busy. The Egret can be seen quite often on the Hunton Cress Beds where it will be looking for Sticklebacks and fresh water shrimps. The cress hasn’t done so well this year due to the earlier flooding.
My trees continue to fall down and will do for some time as there are great gaps through which the wind can funnel. Will have to wait for “summer” to make my next move – whatever that may be. The wind has dislodged my owl box – used by the Kestrels last year – will have to fix that and intend to add another box at the far end of the water meadow. Top priority on the pond is the Kingfisher bank and the recovery of the fence posts thrown in by some trespassing Neanderthal.
From my kitchen window – Kingfisher, Moorhens – usual family they will split soon, Pheasants, Squirrels, Green Woodpecker, Common Buzzard.
Image of Fieldfare from www.rspb.org.uk